European cells & materials

Pre-cultivation of adipose tissue-derived microvascular fragments in porous scaffolds does not improve their in vivo vascularisation potential.

PMID 25794528


Adipose tissue-derived microvascular fragments represent promising vascularisation units for implanted tissue constructs. However, their reassembly into functional microvascular networks takes several days, during which the cells inside the implants are exposed to hypoxia. In the present study, we analysed whether this critical phase may be overcome by pre-cultivation of fragment-seeded scaffolds prior to their implantation. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)-positive microvascular fragments were isolated 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 cultivated for 28 days. Subsequently, these scaffolds or control scaffolds, which were freshly seeded with GFP-positive microvascular fragments, were implanted into the dorsal skinfold chamber of C57BL/6 wild-type mice to study their vascularisation and incorporation by means of intravital fluorescence microscopy, histology and immunohistochemistry over 2 weeks. Pre-cultivation of microvascular fragments resulted in the loss of their native vessel morphology. Accordingly, pre-cultivated scaffolds contained a network of individual CD31/GFP-positive endothelial cells with filigrane cell protuberances. After implantation into the dorsal skinfold chamber, these scaffolds exhibited an impaired vascularisation, as indicated by a significantly reduced functional microvessel density and lower fraction of GFP-positive microvessels in their centre when compared to freshly seeded control implants. This was associated with a deteriorated incorporation into the surrounding host tissue. These findings indicate that freshly isolated, non-cultivated microvascular fragments should be preferred as vascularisation units. This would also facilitate their use in clinical practice during intra-operative one-step procedures.

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Citraconic anhydride, 98%