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PLoS One


Tissue engineering has driven significant research in the strive to create a supply of tissues for patient treatment. Cell integration into engineered tissues maximizes functional capabilities, however, issues of rejection remain. Autologous cell sources able to solve this issue are difficult to identify for tissue engineering purposes. Here, we present the efficacy of patient-sourced cells derived from adipose (adipose-derived stem cells, ASCs) and skin tissue (dermal fibroblasts, PtFibs) to build a combined engineered tunica media and adventitia graft, respectively. Patient cells were integrated into our lab's vascular tissue engineering technique of forming vascular rings that are stacked into a tubular structure to create the vascular graft. For the media layer, ASCs were successfully differentiated into the smooth muscle phenotype using angiotensin II followed by culture in smooth muscle growth factors, evidenced by significantly increased expression of αSMA and myosin light chain kinase. Engineered media vessels composed of differentiated ASCs (ASC-SMCs) exhibited an elastic modulus (45.2 ± 18.9 kPa) between that of vessels of undifferentiated ASCs (71.8 ± 35.3 kPa) and control human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs; 18.7 ± 5.49 kPa) (p<0.5). Tensile strength of vessels composed of ASCs (41.3 ± 15.7 kPa) and ASC-SMCs (37.3 ± 17.0 kPa) were higher compared to vessels of HASMCs (28.4 ± 11.2 kPa). ASC-based tissues exhibited a significant increase in collagen content and fiber maturity- both factors contribute to tissue strength and stability. Furthermore, vessels gained stability and a more-uniform single-tubular shape with longer-term 1-month culture. This work demonstrates efficacy of ASCs and PtFibs to create patient-specific vessels.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Tunica Media; Adventitia; Aorta; Collagen; Stem Cells

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