, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 43-51
Date: 02 Feb 2011

“Deep-media culture condition” promoted lumen formation of endothelial cells within engineered three-dimensional tissues in vitro

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In the field of tissue engineering, the induction of microvessels into tissues is an important task because of the need to overcome diffusion limitations of oxygen and nutrients within tissues. Powerful methods to create vessels in engineered tissues are needed for creating real living tissues. In this study, we utilized three-dimensional (3D) highly cell dense tissues fabricated by cell sheet technology. The 3D tissue constructs are close to living-cell dense tissue in vivo. Additionally, creating an endothelial cell (EC) network within tissues promoted neovascularization promptly within the tissue after transplantation in vivo. Compared to the conditions in vivo, however, common in vitro cell culture conditions provide a poor environment for creating lumens within 3D tissue constructs. Therefore, for determining adequate conditions for vascularizing engineered tissue in vitro, our 3D tissue constructs were cultured under a “deep-media culture conditions.” Compared to the control conditions, the morphology of ECs showed a visibly strained cytoskeleton, and the density of lumen formation within tissues increased under hydrostatic pressure conditions. Moreover, the increasing expression of vascular endothelial cadherin in the lumens suggested that the vessels were stabilized in the stimulated tissues compared with the control. These findings suggested that deep-media culture conditions improved lumen formation in engineered tissues in vitro.