A critical step in successful engraftment of engineered tissue substitutes is the development of functional vascularized networks. Vascularization of complex tissue constructs requires a combination of expertise in biological science, engineering, and biomaterials synthesis. Microengineering technology has found extensive applications in creating spatially patterned features with well-defi ned chemical and physical cues to control cell and tissue functions. In this chapter, we will broadly overview the recent progress in the integration of microengineering technology (e.g., spatial patterning techniques) and stem cells to develop microvascular networks. We will primarily describe the characteristics and architecture of native blood vessels followed by a brief presentation on specifi c cell types, biological signals, and biomaterials, which have been applied to create biomimetic vascular networks. We will then highlight the studies, which have utilized photolithography, soft lithography, and advanced biomanufacturing techniques to spatially pattern stem cells to generate blood vessel-like networks. This chapter will be concluded with a brief summary on the effects of mechanical stimulations on vascular assembly.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)