Upgrading prevascularization in tissue engineering: A review of strategies for promoting highly organized microvascular network formation

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Department of Biomedical Engineering


Functional and perfusable vascular network formation is critical to ensure the long-term survival and functionality of engineered tissues after their transplantation. Although several vascularization strategies have been reviewed in past, the significance of microvessel organization in three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds has been largely ignored. Advances in high-resolution microscopy and image processing have revealed that the majority of tissues including cardiac, skeletal muscle, bone, and skin contain highly organized microvessels that orient themselves to align with tissue architecture for optimum molecular exchange and functional performance. Here, we review strategies to develop highly organized and mature vascular networks in engineered tissues, with a focus on electromechanical stimulation, surface topography, micro scaffolding, surface-patterning, microfluidics and 3D printing. This review will provide researchers with state of the art approaches to engineer vascularized functional tissues for diverse applications.

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© 2019 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2019.03.016

Publication Title

Acta Biomaterialia