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Scaffolds with endothelial cell cords to promote vascularization of tissue transplants

Mouse studies suggest scaffolds containing cords made of endothelial cells could help improve tissue transplant outcomes. Cords that consist of a cylindrical segment of endothelial cells that surround a collagen core were generated and embedded within a fibrin scaffold. In mice, fat pad implantation of a scaffold containing the endothelial cell cords led to greater vascularization of the scaffold than implantation of a similar scaffold with randomly organized endothelial cells. In mice, transplantation of scaffolds containing the endothelial cell cords plus hepatocytes resulted in increased tissue vascularization and hepatocyte functionality compared with transplantation of scaffolds with randomly organized endothelial cells or hepatocytes alone. Next steps could include testing the patterned scaffolds in additional transplantation models.

SciBX 6(20); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.504
Published online May 23, 2013

Patent application filed; licensed to an undisclosed company

Baranski, J.D. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online April 22, 2013;
Contact: Christopher S. Chen, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.