eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2012   Volume No 24 – pages 266-277

Title: Vascularisation of porous scaffolds is improved by incorporation of adipose tissue-derived microvascular fragments

Author: MW Laschke, S Kleer, C Scheuer, S Schuler, P Garcia, D Eglin, M Alini, MD Menger

Address: Institute for Clinical & Experimental Surgery, University of Saarland, D-66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany

E-mail: matthias.laschke at

Key Words: Tissue engineering; microvascular fragments; adipose tissue; inosculation; scaffold; polyurethane; vascularisation; angiogenesis.

Publication date: September 24th 2012

Abstract: In tissue engineering, the generation of tissue constructs comprising preformed microvessels is a promising strategy to guarantee their adequate vascularisation after implantation. Herein, we analysed whether this may be achieved by seeding porous scaffolds with adipose tissue-derived microvascular fragments. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)-positive microvascular fragments were isolated by enzymatic digestion from epididymal fat pads of male C57BL/6-TgN(ACTB-EGFP)1Osb/J mice. Nano-size hydroxyapatite particles/poly(ester-urethane) scaffolds were seeded with these fragments and implanted into the dorsal skinfold chamber of C57BL/6 wild-type mice to study inosculation and vascularisation of the implants by means of intravital fluorescence microscopy, histology and immunohistochemistry over 2 weeks. Empty scaffolds served as controls. Vital microvascular fragments could be isolated from adipose tissue and seeded onto the scaffolds under dynamic pressure conditions. In the dorsal skinfold chamber, the fragments survived and exhibited a high angiogenic activity, resulting in the formation of GFP-positive microvascular networks within the implants. These networks developed interconnections to the host microvasculature, resulting in a significantly increased functional microvessel density at day 10 and 14 after implantation when compared to controls. Immunohistochemical analyses of vessel-seeded scaffolds revealed that >90 % of the microvessels in the implants’ centre and ~60 % of microvessels in the surrounding host tissue were GFP-positive. This indicates that the scaffolds primarily vascularised by external inosculation. These novel findings demonstrate that the vascularisation of implanted porous scaffolds can be improved by incorporation of microvascular fragments. Accordingly, this approach may markedly contribute to the success of future tissue engineering applications in clinical practice.

Article download: Pages 266-277 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v024a19