Design of custom-shaped vascularized tissues using microtissue spheroids as minimal building units

Tissue Eng. 2006 Aug;12(8):2151-60. doi: 10.1089/ten.2006.12.2151.


Tissue engineering strategies are gathering clinical momentum in regenerative medicine and are expected to provide excellent opportunities for therapy for difficult-to-treat human pathologies. Being aware of the requirement to produce larger artificial tissue implants for clinical applications, we used microtissues, produced using gravity-enforced self-assembly of monodispersed primary cells, as minimal tissue units to generate scaffold-free vascularized artificial macrotissues in custom-shaped agarose molds. Mouse myoblast, pig and human articular-derived chondrocytes, and human myofibroblast (HMF)-composed microtissues (microm3 scale) were amalgamated to form coherent macrotissue patches (mm3 scale) of a desired shape. Macrotissues, assembled from the human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC)-coated HMF microtissues, developed a vascular system, which functionally connected to the chicken embryo's vasculature after implantation. The design of scaffold-free vascularized macrotissues is a first step toward the scale-up and production of artificial tissue implants for future tissue engineering initiatives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chondrocytes
  • Fibroblasts
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Spheroids, Cellular*
  • Swine
  • Tissue Engineering*