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Issue 4, 2013
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Guided assembly of endothelial cells on hydrogel matrices patterned with microgrooves: a basic model for microvessel engineering

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Abstract

Engineering microvessel structures with spatial control has important implications for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. We demonstrate a facile approach to integrate structural and biochemical patterns on biodegradable hydrogel matrices via combining soft-lithographic and micromolding techniques to enable self-assembly of endothelial cells toward vessel morphogenesis. Human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), with or without stromal fibroblasts, were cultured on matrices made of hyaluronic aciddextran or agarose hydrogels patterned with microgrooves containing entrapped collagen. It was found that only with appropriate microgroove geometry would the patterned matrices induce the aggregation and coalescence of endothelial cells to form microvessel-like structures. On the basis of the monoculture model, a co-culture configuration mimicking the natural vessel morphology was also established on the hyaluronic aciddextran matrix, which contained double layered cellular assemblies through recruitment of fibroblasts to the surface of the pre-assembled endothelial cords. This study shows that the hydrogel matrices patterned with microgrooves provide a new and versatile system to enable the morphogenetic assembling of cells and warrant further studies for engineering microvessel tissues.

Graphical abstract: Guided assembly of endothelial cells on hydrogel matrices patterned with microgrooves: a basic model for microvessel engineering

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Sep 2012, accepted on 31 Oct 2012 and first published on 21 Nov 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM27126E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 1113-1121
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    Guided assembly of endothelial cells on hydrogel matrices patterned with microgrooves: a basic model for microvessel engineering

    L. Jiang and Y. Luo, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 1113
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM27126E

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