Constructive remodeling of a synthetic endothelial extracellular matrix

Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 21;5:18290. doi: 10.1038/srep18290.


The construction of well-controllable in vitro models of physiological and pathological vascular endothelium remains a fundamental challenge in tissue engineering and drug development. Here, we present an approach for forming a synthetic endothelial extracellular matrix (ECM) that closely resembles that of the native structure by locally depositing basement membrane materials onto type 1 collagen nanofibers only in a region adjacent to the endothelial cell (EC) monolayer. Culturing the EC monolayer on this synthetic endothelial ECM remarkably enhanced its physiological properties, reducing its vascular permeability, and promoting a stabilized, quiescent phenotype. We demonstrated that the EC monolayer on the synthetic endothelial ECM neither creates non-physiological barriers to cell-cell or cell-ECM interactions, nor hinders molecular diffusion of growth factors and other molecules. The synthetic endothelial ECM and vascular endothelium on it may help us enter in a new phase of research in which various models of the biological barrier behavior can be tested experimentally.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Basement Membrane / cytology
  • Basement Membrane / growth & development
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Collagen Type I / chemistry
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / growth & development*
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Microfluidics / methods
  • Nanofibers / chemistry
  • Permeability
  • Tissue Engineering*


  • Collagen Type I
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins