Engineering blood vessels through micropatterned coculture of vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells on bilayered electrospun fibrous mats with pDNA inoculations.

Acta biomaterialia

PubMedID: 25305234

Liu Y, Lu J, Li H, Wei J, Li X. Engineering blood vessels through micropatterned coculture of vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells on bilayered electrospun fibrous mats with pDNA inoculations. Acta Biomater. 2014;.
Although engineered blood vessels have seen important advances during recent years, proper mechanical strength and vasoactivity remain unsolved problems. In the current study, micropatterned fibrous mats were created to load smooth muscle cells (SMCs), and a coculture with endothelial cells (ECs) was established through overlaying upon an EC-loaded flat fibrous mat to mimic the layered structure of a blood vessel. A preferential distribution of SMCs was determined in the patterned regions throughout the fibrous scaffolds, and aligned fibers in the patterned regions provided topological cues to guide the orientation of SMCs with intense actin filaments and extracellular matrix (ECM) productions in a circumferential direction. Plasmids DNA encoding basic fibroblast growth factors and vascular endothelial growth factor were integrated into electrospun fibers as biological cues to promote SMC infiltration into fibrous mats, the viability and ECM productions of both ECs and SMCs. The layered fibrous mats with loaded ECs and SMCs were wrapped into a cylinder, and engineered vessels were obtained with compact EC and SMC layers after coculture for 3 months. Randomly oriented ECM productions of ECs formed a continuous endothelium covering the entire lumenal surface, and a highly alignment of ECM was shown in the circumferential direction of SMC layers. The tensile strength, strain at failure and suture retention strength were higher than those of human femoral artery, and the burst pressure and radial compliance were in the same range of human saphenous vein, indicating potentials as blood vessel substitutes for transplantation in vivo. Thus, the establishment of topographical cues and biochemical signals into fibrous scaffolds demonstrates advantages in modulating cellular behaviors and organization found in complex multicellular tissues.