In vivo imaging study of angiogenesis in a channelized porous scaffold

Mol Imaging. 2015;14. doi: 10.2310/7290.2015.00011.


The main scientific issue hindering the development of tissue engineering technologies is the lack of proper vascularization. Among the various approaches developed for boosting vascularization, scaffold design has attracted increasing interest over the last few years. The aim of this article is to illustrate a scaffold design strategy for enhancing vascularization based on sacrificial microfabrication of embedded microchannels. This approach was combined with an innovative poly(ether urethane urea) (PEUtU) porous scaffold to provide an alternative graft substitute material for the treatment of tissue defects. Fluorescent and chemiluminescent imaging combined with computed tomography were used to study the behavior of the scaffold composition within living subjects by analyzing angiogenesis and inflammation processes and observing the variation in x-ray absorption, respectively. For this purpose, an IntegriSense 680 probe was used in vivo for the localization and quantification of integrin αvβ3, due to its critical involvement in angiogenesis, and a XenoLight RediJect Inflammation Probe for the study of the decline in inflammation progression during healing. Overall, the collected data suggest the advantages of embedding a synthetic vascular network into a PEUtU porous matrix to enhance in vivo tissue integration, maturation, and regeneration. Moreover, our imaging approach proved to be an efficient and versatile tool for scaffold in vivo testing.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Mechanical Phenomena
  • Mice
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Porosity
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed