Patterning Vasculature: The Role of Biofabrication to Achieve an Integrated Multicellular Ecosystem

Afonso Malheiro, Paul Wieringa, Carlos Mota, Matt Baker, Lorenzo Moroni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In regenerative medicine (RM), creating engineered tissues with functionally relevant vasculature is a critical goal. Recent technological advances in biofabrication and bioprinting have been reported which present significant steps toward achieving this aim. While many approaches to address this challenge derive from microfabrication techniques, progress in the material science field and 3D printing technologies fields have introduced exciting new possibilities for the creation of increasingly complex and functional vascularized tissues. Here, we provide a brief overview of the process of vascularization and its importance within the fields of RM and tissue engineering (TE). We give a brief synopsis of various strategies that have been reported to induce cell patterning for a designed vascular network within a TE construct, including material-based strategies, structural molding approaches, and direct cell-patterning techniques. As well as highlighting advances in the field, we discuss possible areas for further development; in particular, we advocate a combination of strategies to successfully overcome current limitations in developing functional artificial tissues. Overall, the technological innovations in new bioprinting approaches and complementary progress in materials development are recognized as having critical roles as TE matures toward broadly applicable, clinically relevant applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1694-1709
JournalACS Biomaterial Science and Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • tissue engineering
  • vascularization
  • multicellular architectures
  • bioprinting
  • multiscale patterning

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