, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp 677-681

Experimental approaches to study vascularization in tissue engineering and biomaterial applications

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The success of tissue engineering and biomaterial applications is not only dependent on the growth and functioning of the organ- or tissue-specific cells on the biomaterial but is entirely dependent in most cases on a successful vascularization after implantation. The process of vascularization involves angiogenesis; the formation of new blood vessels which spread into the implant material and supply the existing cells with the nutrients to survive. We have established in vitro methods using human microvascular endothelial cells to evaluate novel biomaterials for endothelial cell attachment, cytotoxicity, growth, angiogenesis and the effects on gene regulation. These in vitro studies can be used to rapidly evaluate the potential success of a new biomaterial and for the development of matrix scaffolds which will promote a physiological vascularization response.