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Vascular Networks Within 3D Printed and Engineered Tissues

  • Daniel Sazer
  • Jordan Miller
Reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Biomedical Engineering book series (RSBE)

Abstract

In order to scale benchtop tissue mimics into viable constructs of clinically relevant dimensions, these structures must contain internal vascular networks to support convective mass transport. Without vessels to support perfusion culture, encapsulated cells located farther than 200 μm from the outer surface of a construct will quickly die due to the diffusional limits of oxygen and small molecule nutrients. By endowing artificial tissues with hollow vessels, researchers have made exciting progress towards the longitudinal maintenance of cellular function in large, dense tissues. But the field currently lacks standardized platforms and protocols to fabricate highly vascularized constructs in a rapid and cost-effective manner, which has left the literature base to become crowded with custom apparatus and diverse technical schemes. Here we highlight some promising, contemporary strategies for the vascularization of 3D printed and engineered tissues. We discuss the advantages and limitations of various fabrication platforms in the field, making note of desirable properties such as high spatial resolution, freely tunable 3D architecture, and the presence of discrete fluidic ports. With clinical targets in mind, this overview concludes with a brief survey of progress towards fluidic integration with the circulatory system in vivo.

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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