ECTS Abstracts (2015) 1 W1.3

Engineering of 3D vascularized human tissues

Heike Walles


Regenerative medicine is a multidisciplinary field that combines engineering, physical, and biological sciences and medicine with the overall goal to restore or to replace damaged tissues or organs. In order to reach this goal there are several strategies such as the application of cell suspensions or biomaterials. Furthermore, the use of tissue engineering constructs, which are produced by a combination of both cells and scaffolds, is a more sophisticated approach. Therefore, it is necessary to isolate cells from the patient that are cultured together with the scaffold in vitro before this construct can be implanted into the patient. Vascularization is a major challenge in creating tissues ex vivo. Complex tissue engineered constructs exceeding a thickness of 100–200 μm need a vascular system in order to supply the cells with oxygen and nutrients and moreover remove waste products. This restricts generation of tissues with an appropriate size for clinical application and complex tissues such as the bone.

We developed 3D vascularized tissues based on decellularized porcine small bowl segments and preserved tubular structures of the capillary network within the collagen matrix which is functional associated with one small vein and artery (biological vascularized scaffold – BioVaSc). This vascularized matrix enables the generation of a functional artificial vascular network and vascularized tissues as trachea, bone, skin, fatty tissue, intestine, and liver.

Possible application of this technology is the so called ATMPs – advanced therapy medicinal products. We are in preclinical and clinical testing of different vascularized implants. During the talk will be shown that it is possible to use the BioVaSc platform technology to generate autologous human transplants wich can be connected to the recipient vascularization. An overview of the initiated phase I/II clinical TraVaSc trial (tracheal reconstruction), the preclinical trial for the treatment of critical bone size defect (BoneVaSc) and the application as SkinVaSc and AdiVaSc will be shown.

At the end of the presentation an overview of non-destructive methods to characterize the complex implants will be given. Our team is focusing on the impedance and Raman spectroscopy for these applications.

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