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J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2009 Aug;3(6):486-90. doi: 10.1002/term.183.

Initial evaluation of vascular ingrowth into superporous hydrogels.

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Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60612-7231, USA.


There is a need for new materials and architectures for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Based upon our recent results developing novel scaffold architecture, we hypothesized that this new architecture would foster vascularization, a particular need for tissue engineering. We report on the potential of superporous hydrogel (SPH) scaffolds for in vivo cellular infiltration and vascularization. Poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) SPH scaffolds were implanted in the dorsum of severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice and harvested after 4 weeks of in vivo implantation. The SPHs were visibly red and vascularized, as apparent when compared to the non-porous hydrogel controls, which were macroscopically avascular. Host cell infiltration was observed throughout the SPHs. Blood cells and vascular structures, confirmed through staining for CD34 and smooth muscle alpha-actin, were observed throughout the scaffolds. This novel soft material may be utilized for cell transplantation, tissue engineering and in combination with cell therapies. The neovasularization and limited fibrotic response suggest that the architecture may be conducive to cell survival and rapid vessel development.

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