Tissue-engineered microvessels on three-dimensional biodegradable scaffolds using human endothelial progenitor cells

Xiao Wu, Elena Rabkin-Aikawa, Kristine J. Guleserian, Tjorvi E. Perry, Yutaka Masuda, Fraser W H Sutherland, Frederick J. Schoen, John E. Mayer, Joyce Bischoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Tissue engineering may offer patients new options when replacement or repair of an organ is needed. However, most tissues will require a microvascular network to supply oxygen and nutrients. One strategy for creating a microvascular network would be promotion of vasculogenesis in situ by seeding vascular progenitor cells within the biopolymeric construct. To pursue this strategy, we isolated CD34+/CD133+ endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) from human umbilical cord blood and expanded the cells ex vivo as EPC-derived endothelial cells (EC). The EPC lost expression of the stem cell marker CD133 but continued to express the endothelial markers KDR/VEGF-R2, VE-cadherin, CD31, von Willebrand factor, and E-selectin. The cells were also shown to mediate calcium-dependent adhesion of HL-60 cells, a human promyelocytic leukemia cell line, providing evidence for a proinflammatory endothelial phenotype. The EPC-derived EC maintained this endothelial phenotype when expanded in roller bottles and subsequently seeded on polyglycolic acid-poly-L-lactic acid (PGA-PLLA) scaffolds, but microvessel formation was not observed. In contrast, EPC-derived EC seeded with human smooth muscle cells formed capillary-like structures throughout the scaffold (76.5 ± 35 microvessels/mm2). These results indicate that 1) EPC-derived EC can be expanded in vitro and seeded on biodegradable scaffolds with preservation of endothelial phenotype and 2) EPC-derived EC seeded with human smooth muscle cells form microvessels on porous PGA-PLLA scaffolds. These properties indicate that EPC may be well suited for creating microvascular networks within tissue-engineered constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H480-H487
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2 56-2
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Blood vessels
  • Polyglycolic acid-poly-L-lactic acid
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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