A successful strategy to enhance the in vivo survival of engineered tissues would be to prevascularize them. In this study, fabricated silk fibroin scaffolds from mulberry and non-mulberry silkworms are investigated and compared for supporting the co-culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells and human foreskin fibroblasts. Scaffolds are cytocompatible and when combined with fibrin gel support capillary-like structure formation. Density and interconnectivity of the formed structures are found to be better in mulberry scaffolds. ELISA shows that levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) released in co-cultures with fibrin gel are significantly higher than in co-cultures without fibrin gel. RT PCR shows an increase in VEGFR2 expression in mulberry scaffolds indicating these scaffolds combined with fibrin provide a suitable microenvironment for the development of capillary-like structures. ? 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
- foreskin fibroblasts
- human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs)
- silk fibroin