Bioengineered human vascular networks transplanted into secondary mice reconnect with the host vasculature and re-establish perfusion

Kyu-Tae Kang, Patrick Allen and Joyce Bischoff


The ability to form anastomoses with the host circulation is essential for vascular networks incorporated within cell-seeded bioengineered tissues. Here, we tested whether and how rapidly human endothelial colony forming cell (ECFC)/mesenchymal progenitor cell (MPC)-derived bioengineered vessels, originally perfused in one mouse, could become re-perfused in a secondary mouse. Using in vivo labeling with a systemically injected mixture of human- and murine-specific lectins, we demonstrate that ECFC/MPC-blood vessels reconnect and are perfused at day 3 after transplantation. Furthermore, we quantified the longitudinal change in perfusion volume in the same implants before and after transplantation using contrast-enhanced micro-ultrasonic imaging. Perfusion was restored at day 3 after transplantation and increased with time, suggesting an important new feature of ECFC/MPC-blood vessels: the bioengineered vessels can reconnect with the vasculature when transplanted to a new site. This feature extends the potential applications of this postnatal progenitor cell-based technology for transplantable large tissue-engineered constructs.

  • Submitted August 30, 2011.
  • Accepted October 23, 2011.