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Small. 2018 Jan;14(2). doi: 10.1002/smll.201701521. Epub 2017 Nov 13.

Development of Endothelial Cell Networks in 3D Tissues by Combination of Melt Electrospinning Writing with Cell-Accumulation Technology.

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Department of Functional Materials for Medicine and Dentistry and Bavarian Polymer Institute, University of Wuerzburg, Pleicherwall 2, 97070, Wuerzburg, Germany.
Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan.
Department of Frontier Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, 1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan.


A remaining challenge in tissue engineering approaches is the in vitro vascularization of engineered constructs or tissues. Current approaches in engineered vascularized constructs are often limited in the control of initial vascular network geometry, which is crucial to ensure full functionality of these constructs with regard to cell survival, metabolic activity, and potential differentiation ability. Herein, the combination of 3D-printed poly-ε-caprolactone scaffolds via melt electrospinning writing with the cell-accumulation technique to enable the formation and control of capillary-like network structures is reported. The cell-accumulation technique is already proven itself to be a powerful tool in obtaining thick (50 µm) tissues and its main advantage is the rapid production of tissues and its ease of performance. However, the applied combination yields tissue thicknesses that are doubled, which is of outstanding importance for an improved handling of the scaffolds and the generation of clinically relevant sample volumes. Moreover, a correlation of increasing vascular endothelial growth factor secretion to hypoxic conditions with increasing pore sizes and an assessment of the formation of neovascular like structures are included.


biofabrication; hybrid materials; melt electrospinning writing; vascularization


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