Cellular control of tissue architectures using a three-dimensional tissue fabrication technique
Tissue engineering seeks to provide regenerated tissue architectures in vitro but has not yet successfully created thick, highly vascularized, multi-functional tissues replicating native structure. We describe a novel method to fabricate pre-vascularized tissue equivalents using multi-layered cultures combining micro-patterned endothelial cells as vascular pre-cursors with fibroblast monolayer sheets as tissue matrix. Stratified tissue equivalents are constructed by alternately layering fibroblast monolayer sheets with patterned endothelial cell sheets harvested from newly developed thermo-responsive micro-patterned surfaces alternating 20 μm-wide cell-adhesive lanes with 60 μm non-adhesive zones. Cell culture substrates covalently grafted with different thermo-responsive polymers permit spatial switching of cell adhesion and detachment using applied small temperature changes. Endothelial cell patterning fidelity was maintained within the multi-layer tissue constructs after assembly, leading to self-organization into microvascular-like networks after 5-day tissue culture. This novel technique holds promise for the study of cell-cell communications and angiogenesis in reconstructed, three-dimensional environments as well as for the fabrication of tissues with complex, multicellular architecture.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 28, Issue 33, November 2007, Pages 4939–4946