Tissue engineering using laminar cellular assemblies.
ABSTRACT As proposed in the late 1980s by Langer and Vacanti, the ultimate goal of tissue engineering is the development of structures that can be used to treat or replace damaged or diseased organs and tissues. For the regeneration of various organs such as the heart, liver, and kidney, the development of adequate vascular networks within the engineered tissues remains a significant obstacle in the formation of cell-dense structures that resemble the native parenchyma. While tissue engineering using biodegradable scaffolds has been successful in the re-creation of tissues where extracellular matrix is abundant, we have developed cell-sheet-based tissue engineering for the construction of tissues using laminar assemblies of cells harvested from temperature-responsive culture dishes. Using cell sheet engineering, we present new strategies for the development of organ-like tissue structures containing well-organized vascular networks.
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ABSTRACT: Regenerative therapies, including myocardial tissue engineering, have been pursued as a new possibility to repair the damaged myocardium, and previously the transplantation of layered cardiomyocyte sheets has been shown to be able to improve cardiac function after myocardial infarction. We examined the effects of promoting neovascularization by controlling the densities of cocultured endothelial cells (ECs) within engineered myocardial tissues created using our cell sheet-based tissue engineering approach. Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were cocultured with GFP-positive rat-derived ECs on temperature-responsive culture dishes. Cocultured ECs formed cell networks within the cardiomyocyte sheets, which were preserved during cell harvest from the dishes using simple temperature reduction. We also observed significantly increased in vitro production of vessel-forming cytokines by the EC-positive cardiac cell sheets. After layering of 3 cardiac cell sheets to create 3-dimensional myocardial tissues, these patch-like tissue grafts were transplanted onto infarcted rat hearts. Four weeks after transplantation, recovery of cardiac function could be significantly improved by increasing the EC densities within the engineered myocardial tissues. Additionally, when the EC-positive cardiac tissues were transplanted to myocardial infarction models, we observed significantly greater numbers of capillaries in the grafts as compared with the EC-negative cell sheets. Finally, blood vessels originating from the engineered EC-positive cardiac tissues bridged into the infarcted myocardium to connect with capillaries of the host heart. In vitro engineering of 3-dimensional cardiac tissues with preformed EC networks that can be easily connected to host vessels can contribute to the reconstruction of myocardial tissue grafts with a high potential for cardiac function repair. These results indicate that neovascularization can contribute to improved cardiac function after the transplantation of engineered cardiac tissues.Circulation 10/2008; 118(14 Suppl):S145-52. · 15.20 Impact Factor
- Advanced Materials 10/2007; 19(21):3633 - 3636. · 14.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: 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 microm-wide cell-adhesive lanes with 60 microm 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.Biomaterials 12/2007; 28(33):4939-46. · 7.60 Impact Factor