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Advances in tissue engineering; a novel technology making use of an in vivo vascularized chamber.

Acta chirurgica Belgica (2015-05-30)
H Debels
ABSTRACT

Regenerative therapies aim to repair or replace damaged tissues. Clinical applications may vary from organ replacement, to breast reconstruction or limb regeneration. In growing 3-dimensional tissue constructs, access to a nourishing vascular network is essential. In rats, an arteriovenous loop was surgically established from the femoral vessels and positioned inside a perforated chamber in the groin. Chambers were filled with 2 ml Adipogel, a novel acellular tissue engineering gel -containing growth factors and polymers. Constructs were harvested at 6 and 12 weeks (n=6) and assessed for volume and histological content. The chambers filled with tissue to about half of their content. Histological assessment showed growth of different tissue types within the chamber; not only had a vascular network grown throughout the construct by 12 weeks, adipose, muscular and connective tissue was abundantly present as well. The grown tissue-types seemed to resemble surrounding groin tissue. This in vivo study makes use of a novel technology for tissue generation. In a surgically established vascularized chamber, spontaneous tissue growth within an acellular gel was achieved. Most likely, stem cells residing in adjacent tissues were driven to the chamber to form new tissue. With this technology, hope rises for a variety of novel patient-tailored therapies, such as organ regeneration or soft tissue repair. In all of these strategies, the surgeon is playing an essential role.

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