Microengineering in cardiovascular research: new developments and translational applications

Cardiovasc Res. 2015 Apr 1;106(1):9-18. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvv049. Epub 2015 Feb 17.


Microfluidic, cellular co-cultures that approximate macro-scale biology are important tools for refining the in vitro study of organ-level function and disease. In recent years, advances in technical fabrication and biological integration have provided new insights into biological phenomena, improved diagnostic measurements, and made major steps towards de novo tissue creation. Here we review applications of these technologies specific to the cardiovascular field, emphasizing three general categories of use: reductionist vascular models, tissue-engineered vascular models, and point-of-care diagnostics. With continued progress in the ability to purposefully control microscale environments, the detailed study of both primary and cultured cells may find new relevance in the general cardiovascular research community.

Keywords: Microengineering; microfluidics; point-of-care diagnostics; three-dimensional cell culture; vascular models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular System / cytology*
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Microfluidics
  • Models, Animal
  • Models, Biological*
  • Tissue Engineering / trends*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / trends*