Bioprinting Approaches to Engineering Vascularized 3D Cardiac Tissues

Abstract

Purpose of Review

3D bioprinting technologies hold significant promise for the generation of engineered cardiac tissue and translational applications in medicine. To generate a clinically relevant sized tissue, the provisioning of a perfusable vascular network that provides nutrients to cells in the tissue is a major challenge. This review summarizes the recent vascularization strategies for engineering 3D cardiac tissues.

Recent Findings

Considerable steps towards the generation of macroscopic sizes for engineered cardiac tissue with efficient vascular networks have been made within the past few years. Achieving a compact tissue with enough cardiomyocytes to provide functionality remains a challenging task. Achieving perfusion in engineered constructs with media that contain oxygen and nutrients at a clinically relevant tissue sizes remains the next frontier in tissue engineering.

Summary

The provisioning of a functional vasculature is necessary for maintaining a high cell viability and functionality in engineered cardiac tissues. Several recent studies have shown the ability to generate tissues up to a centimeter scale with a perfusable vascular network. Future challenges include improving cell density and tissue size. This requires the close collaboration of a multidisciplinary teams of investigators to overcome complex challenges in order to achieve success.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Mark Skylar-Scott, PhD (Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University) for his comments and edits on the manuscript.

Funding

Funding for this research was provided by the German Research Foundation/DFG (PU 690/1-1) (N.P.), the NIH Office of Director’s Pioneer Award LM012179-03, the American Heart Association Established Investigator Award 17EIA33410923, the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, the Hoffmann and Schroepfer Foundation, and the Stanford Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine (S.M.W). The authors declare no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed. No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.

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Nazan Puluca, Soah Lee, Stephanie Doppler, Andrea Münsterer, Martina Dreßen, Markus Krane, and Sean M. Wu declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Puluca, N., Lee, S., Doppler, S. et al. Bioprinting Approaches to Engineering Vascularized 3D Cardiac Tissues. Curr Cardiol Rep 21, 90 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11886-019-1179-8

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Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • Cardiac engineered tissue
  • Vascularization
  • Bioprinting
  • Cardiovascular tissue
  • Cardiomyocyte