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Biotechnol J. 2019 Jan;14(1):e1800306. doi: 10.1002/biot.201800306. Epub 2018 Dec 21.

Cell Seeding on UV-C-Treated 3D Polymeric Templates Allows for Cost-Effective Production of Small-Caliber Tissue-Engineered Blood Vessels.

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Laval University Experimental Organogenesis Research Center/LOEX, Division of Regenerative Medicine, CHU de Québec Research Center, Enfant-Jésus Hospital, 1401, 18e rue, Québec, G1J 1Z4, Canada.
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Québec, Canada.
Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Macdonald Campus, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada.
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Laval University, Québec, QC, Canada.


There is a strong clinical need to develop small-caliber tissue-engineered blood vessels for arterial bypass surgeries. Such substitutes can be engineered using the self-assembly approach in which cells produce their own extracellular matrix (ECM), creating a robust vessel without exogenous material. However, this approach is currently limited to the production of flat sheets that need to be further rolled into the final desired tubular shape. In this study, human fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells were seeded directly on UV-C-treated cylindrical polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified (PETG) mandrels of 4.8 mm diameter. UV-C treatment induced surface modification, confirmed by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis, was necessary to ensure proper cellular attachment and optimized ECM secretion/assembly. This novel approach generated solid tubular conduits with high level of cohesion between concentric cellular layers and enhanced cell-driven circumferential alignment that can be manipulated after 21 days of culture. This simple and cost-effective mandrel-seeded approach also allowed for endothelialization of the construct and the production of perfusable trilayered tissue-engineered blood vessels with a closed lumen. This study lays the foundation for a broad field of possible applications enabling custom-made reconstructed tissues of specialized shapes using a surface treated 3D structure as a template for tissue engineering.


FTIR; PETG; cell sheet; fibroblast; self-assembly; surface treatment; tissue-engineered blood vessel

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