Cellular strategies to promote vascularization in tissue engineering applications

last updated: 2014-11-01
TitleCellular strategies to promote vascularization in tissue engineering applications
Publication TypeReview Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsCosta-Almeida R., Granja P. L., Soares R., and Guerreiro S. G.
Abstract Text

Vascularisation is considered to be one of the greatest challenges in tissue engineering. Different strategies exist but cell-based approaches have emerged as a promising therapy to achieve successful vascularisation. The use of endothelial cells to engineer vascularised tissues has been extensively investigated. This field of research has evolved with the discovery of endothelial progenitor cells, a subpopulation with a high regenerative potential. However, the survival of endothelial cell populations alone seems to be impaired. To overcome this problem, co-culture systems, involving supporting cells, like mural cells, fibroblasts, or more tissue-specific cells have been developed. Endothelial cells benefit from the extracellular matrix components and growth factors produced by the supporting cells, which results in neovessel stabilisation and maturation. The use of endothelial progenitor cells in co-culture systems appears to be a promising strategy to promote vascularisation in approaches of increasing complexity. Herein, the authors provide an overview of the cellular strategies that can be used for increasing vascularisation in tissue engineering and regeneration. 

JournalEuropean Cells and Materials
Date Published2014-07-22
KeywordsAngiogenesis, cellular therapies, co-culture models, endothelial progenitor cells, regeneration.
Peer reviewedyes

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