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Head Neck. 2007 May;29(5):458-64.

Tissue engineered prefabricated vascularized flaps.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore. kkkwco@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND.: Microvascular free tissue transfer has become increasingly popular in the reconstruction of head and neck defects, but it also has its disadvantages. Tissue engineering allows the generation of neo-tissue for implantation, but these tissues are often avascular. We propose to combine tissue-engineering techniques together with flap prefabrication techniques to generate a prefabricated vascularized soft tissue flap.

METHODS:

Human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) labeled with fluorescein diacetate were static seeded onto polylactic-co-glycolic acid-collagen (PLGA-c) mesh. Controls were plain PLGA-c mesh. The femoral artery and vein of the nude rat was ligated and used as a vascular carrier for the constructs. After 4 weeks of implantation, the constructs were assessed by gross morphology, routine histology, Masson trichrome, and cell viability determined by green fluorescence.

RESULTS:

All the constructs maintained their initial shape and dimensions. Angiogenesis was evident in all the constructs with neo-capillary formation within the PLGA-c mesh seen. HDFs proliferated and filled the interyarn spaces of the PLGA-c mesh, while unseeded PLGA-c mesh remained relatively acellular. Cell tracer study indicated that the seeded HDFs remained viable and closely associated to remaining PLGA-c fibers. Collagen formation was more abundant in the constructs seeded with HDFs.

CONCLUSIONS:

PLGA-c, enveloped by a cell sheet composed of fibroblasts, can serve as a suitable scaffold for generation of a soft tissue flap. A ligated arteriovenous pedicle can serve as a vascular carrier for the generation of a tissue engineered vascularized flap.

PMID:
17274055
DOI:
10.1002/hed.20546
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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