Engineering of a vascularized scaffold for artificial tissue and organ generation
Tissue engineering is an emerging field in regenerative medicine to overcome the problem of end-stage organ failure. However, complex tissues and organs need a vascular supply to guaranty graft survival and render bioartificial organ function. Here we developed methods to decellularize porcine small bowl segments and repopulate the remaining venous and arterial tubular structures within these matrices with allogeneic porcine endothelial progenitor cells. Cellular adherence and vitality was characterized by quantitative 2-[18F]-fluoro-2′-desoxy-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) and subsequent immunohistological work up. The generated matrices showed insulin-dependent FDG uptake predominantly in the region of the former vascular structures. Stain for vitality and the specific endothelial markers CD31, VE-Cadherin and Flk-1 matched this functional finding. Providing evidence for vitality up to 3 weeks post reconstitution and typical endothelial differentiation, these results indicate that our generated matrix allows the generation of complex bioartificial tissues and organs for experimental and future clinical application.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 26, Issue 33, November 2005, Pages 6610–6617