Bioreactor Development for the Study of Angiogenesis within Tissue Engineered Constructs
Tissue Engineering is an interdisciplinary field that combines cellular and molecular biology as well as material and mechanical engineering in order to replace damaged or diseased organs and tissues. The development of complex tissue engineered constructs is limited to a tissue thickness of less than 2mm. To overcome the limitations of diffusion, an internal capillary network is necessary to enable gas exchange, nutrient delivery and waste removal.
The aim of the current study was to develop a bioreactor for the study of angiogenesis within fibrin gel scaffolds seeded with endothelial cells. The flow perfusion bioreactor CapNet combines the tube forming activity of endothelial cells, the permeability of a fibrin gel scaffold and the supplemented growth factors for the formation of capillary networks.
The bioreactor is composed of two coaxial cylinders. The fibrin gel scaffold seeded with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) is placed in a scaffold holder and attached directly to the flow system composed of the inner cylinder. This system is housed in a second cylinder, connected to an external pump via silicon tubing in order to oxygenate the tissue and eliminate CO2 and optimize the flow rate.
The CapNet bioreactor made the sterile cultivation of the fibrin gel scaffold possible and easy to handle. The formation of capillary network could be observed after the supplement of medium with follicular fluid containing vascular endothelial growth factor.
KeywordsVascular Endothelial Growth Factor Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cell Follicular Fluid Capillary Network Tissue Engineer Construct
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