Vascularization of engineered tissues is critical for success. Adequate and physiologically regulated blood supply is important for viability of the implanted tissue but even more important for the proper function of parenchymal cells, which is the desired clinical outcome for most applications in regenerative medicine. Several methods are being developed to stimulate revascularization of engineered tissue. Prevascularized scaffolds with a hierarchical vascular pattern, allowing surgical hook-up of the inflow and outflow tracts, that are already preseeded and cultured with primary vascular cells or precursors will be required for larger tissues or tissues with an immediate high metabolism, such as myocardium. The preimplantation presence of a mature vasculature will improve differentiation and maturation of the parenchyma, thus meeting the functional demands of the host. This may also be true for smaller or metabolically less-active tissues, yet for viability and immediate function they may rely on facilitated postimplantation ingrowth of the host vasculature.
- 3D printing
- tissue engineering