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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 15997-16016; doi:10.3390/ijms160715997

Hydrogels for Engineering of Perfusable Vascular Networks

1
Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, D-81675 Munich, Germany
2
Department of Hand Surgery, Wuhan Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China
3
Center for Applied Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (CANTER), Munich University of Applied Science, D-80335 Munich, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mohamed N. Rahaman
Received: 1 April 2015 / Revised: 9 June 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 14 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [891 KB, uploaded 14 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

Hydrogels are commonly used biomaterials for tissue engineering. With their high-water content, good biocompatibility and biodegradability they resemble the natural extracellular environment and have been widely used as scaffolds for 3D cell culture and studies of cell biology. The possible size of such hydrogel constructs with embedded cells is limited by the cellular demand for oxygen and nutrients. For the fabrication of large and complex tissue constructs, vascular structures become necessary within the hydrogels to supply the encapsulated cells. In this review, we discuss the types of hydrogels that are currently used for the fabrication of constructs with embedded vascular networks, the key properties of hydrogels needed for this purpose and current techniques to engineer perfusable vascular structures into these hydrogels. We then discuss directions for future research aimed at engineering of vascularized tissue for implantation. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogels; vascular networks; tissue engineering; fabrication hydrogels; vascular networks; tissue engineering; fabrication
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, J.; Zheng, H.; Poh, P.S.P.; Machens, H.-G.; Schilling, A.F. Hydrogels for Engineering of Perfusable Vascular Networks. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 15997-16016.

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