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Eur Cell Mater. 2007 Jul 25;14:1-18; discussion 18-9.

Engineering thick tissues--the vascularisation problem.

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Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


The ability to create thick tissues is a major tissue engineering challenge, requiring the development of a suitable vascular supply. Current trends are seeing the utilization of cells seeded into hybrid matrix/scaffold systems to create in vitro vascular analogues. Approaches that aim to create vasculature in vitro include the use of biological extracellular matrices such as collagen hydrogels, porous biodegradable polymeric scaffolds with macro- and micro-lumens and micro-channels, co-culture of cells, incorporation of growth factors, culture in dynamic bioreactor environments, and combinations of these. Of particular interest are those approaches that aim to create bioengineered tissues in vitro that can be readily connected to the host's vasculature following implantation in order to maintain cell viability.

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