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AUTHOR Benmeridja, Lara and De Moor, Lise and De Maere, Elisabeth and Vanlauwe, Florian and Ryx, Michelle and Tytgat, Liesbeth and Vercruysse, Chris and Dubruel, Peter and Van Vlierberghe, Sandra and Blondeel, Phillip and Declercq, Heidi
Title High-throughput fabrication of vascularized adipose microtissues for 3D bioprinting [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
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Abstract For patients with soft tissue defects, repair with autologous in vitro engineered adipose tissue could be a promising alternative to current surgical therapies. A volume-persistent engineered adipose tissue construct under in vivo conditions can only be achieved by early vascularization after transplantation. The combination of 3D bioprinting technology with self-assembling microvascularized units as building blocks can potentially answer the need for a microvascular network. In the present study, co-culture spheroids combining adipose-derived stem cells (ASC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were created with an ideal geometry for bioprinting. When applying the favourable seeding technique and condition, compact viable spheroids were obtained, demonstrating high adipogenic differentiation and capillary-like network formation after 7 and 14 days of culture, as shown by live/dead analysis, immunohistochemistry and RT-qPCR. Moreover, we were able to successfully 3D bioprint the encapsulated spheroids, resulting in compact viable spheroids presenting capillary-like structures, lipid droplets and spheroid outgrowth after 14 days of culture. This is the first study that generates viable high-throughput (pre-)vascularized adipose microtissues as building blocks for bioprinting applications using a novel ASC/HUVEC co-culture spheroid model, which enables both adipogenic differentiation while simultaneously supporting the formation of prevascular-like structures within engineered tissues in vitro.
AUTHOR Dusserre, Nathalie and Stachowicz, Marie-Laure and Medina, Chantal and Henri, Baptiste and Fricain, Jean-Christophe and Paris, François and Oliveira, Hugo
Title Microvalve bioprinting as a biofabrication tool to decipher tumor and endothelial cell crosstalk: Application to a simplified glioblastoma model [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Bioprinting
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Bioprinting technologies are powerful new bioengineering tools that can spatially reproduce multiple microenvironmental cues in a highly controlled, tunable, and precise manner. In this study, microvalve bioprinting technology was successfully used to print in close proximity endothelial and tumor cells at higher concentrations than previously thought possible, while preserving their viability. We propose that the resulting multicellular models, bioprinted in a controlled extracellular matrix microenvironment, are well-suited to study endothelial and cancer cell crosstalk within a cancer niche. As proof of concept, microvalve bioprinting was applied to the bioengineering of a simplified glioblastoma model in which biological processes involved in tumor expansion, such as tumor cell invasion patterns, cell proliferation, and senescence could be easily visualized and quantified. In this model, U251 glioblastoma cells and primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) exhibited good printability and high viability after printing. U251 cells formed physiologically relevant clusters and invasion margins, while HUVECs generated vascular-like networks when primary fibroblasts were added to the model. An oxidative stress mimicking the one encountered within a tumor microenvironment during radiotherapy or genotoxic chemotherapy was shown to both diminish endothelial cells proliferation and to increase their senescence. Results also suggested that stressed glioblastoma cells may alter normal endothelial cell proliferation but not impact their senescence. This data demonstrates the potential of microvalve bioprinting to fabricate in vitro models that can help decipher endothelial and tumor cell crosstalk, within controlled and modulable microenvironments, and can then be used to address critical questions in the context of cancer recurrence.
AUTHOR Nulty, Jessica and Freeman, Fiona E. and Browe, David C. and Burdis, Ross and Ahern, Daniel P. and Pitacco, Pierluca and Lee, Yu Bin and Alsberg, Eben and Kelly, Daniel J.
Title 3D Bioprinting of prevascularised implants for the repair of critically-sized bone defects [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Acta Biomaterialia
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For 3D bioprinted tissues to be scaled-up to clinically relevant sizes, effective prevascularisation strategies are required to provide the necessary nutrients for normal metabolism and to remove associated waste by-products. The aim of this study was to develop a bioprinting strategy to engineer prevascularised tissues in vitro and to investigate the capacity of such constructs to enhance the vascularisation and regeneration of large bone defects in vivo. From a screen of different bioinks, a fibrin-based hydrogel was found to best support human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) sprouting and the establishment of a microvessel network. When this bioink was combined with HUVECs and supporting human bone marrow stem/stromal cells (hBMSCs), these microvessel networks persisted in vitro. Furthermore, only bioprinted tissues containing both HUVECs and hBMSCs, that were first allowed to mature in vitro, supported robust blood vessel development in vivo. To assess the therapeutic utility of this bioprinting strategy, these bioinks were used to prevascularise 3D printed polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds, which were subsequently implanted into critically-sized femoral bone defects in rats. Microcomputed tomography (µCT) angiography revealed increased levels of vascularisation in vivo, which correlated with higher levels of new bone formation. Such prevascularised constructs could be used to enhance the vascularisation of a range of large tissue defects, forming the basis of multiple new bioprinted therapeutics. Statement of Significance This paper demonstrates a versatile 3D bioprinting technique to improve the vascularisation of tissue engineered constructs and further demonstrates how this method can be incorporated into a bone tissue engineering strategy to improve vascularisation in a rat femoral defect model.
AUTHOR Chelsea Twohig and Mari Helsinga and Amin Mansoorifar and Avathamsa Athirasala and Anthony Tahayeri and Cristiane Miranda França and Silvia Amaya Pajares and Reyan Abdelmoniem and Susanne Scherrer and Stéphane Durual and Jack Ferracane and Luiz E. Bertassoni
Title A dual-ink 3D printing strategy to engineer pre-vascularized bone scaffolds in-vitro [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Materials Science and Engineering: C
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A functional vascular supply is a key component of any large-scale tissue, providing support for the metabolic needs of tissue-remodeling cells. Although well-studied strategies exist to fabricate biomimetic scaffolds for bone regeneration, success rates for regeneration in larger defects can be improved by engineering microvascular capillaries within the scaffolds to enhance oxygen and nutrient supply to the core of the engineered tissue as it grows. Even though the role of calcium and phosphate has been well understood to enhance osteogenesis, it remains unclear whether calcium and phosphate may have a detrimental effect on the vasculogenic and angiogenic potential of endothelial cells cultured on 3D printed bone scaffolds. In this study, we presented a novel dual-ink bioprinting method to create vasculature interwoven inside CaP bone constructs. In this method, strands of a CaP ink and a sacrificial template material was used to form scaffolds containing CaP fibers and microchannels seeded with vascular endothelial and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) within a photo-crosslinkable gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) hydrogel material. Our results show similar morphology of growing vessels in the presence of CaP bioink, and no significant difference in endothelial cell sprouting was found. Furthermore, our initial results showed the differentiation of hMSCs into pericytes in the presence of CaP ink. These results indicate the feasibility of creating vascularized bone scaffolds, which can be used for enhancing vascular formation in the core of bone scaffolds.
AUTHOR Yuanhao Wu and Gabriele Maria Fortunato and Babatunde O Okesola and Francesco Luigi Pellerej di Brocchetti and Ratima Suntornnond and John Connelly and Carmelo De Maria and Jose Carlos Rodriguez-Cabello and Giovanni Vozzi and Wen Wang and Alvaro Mata
Title An interfacial self-assembling bioink for the manufacturing of capillary-like structures with tuneable and anisotropic permeability [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
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Self-assembling bioinks offer the possibility to biofabricate with molecular precision, hierarchical control, and biofunctionality. For this to become a reality with widespread impact, it is essential to engineer these ink systems ensuring reproducibility and providing suitable standardization. We have reported a self-assembling bioink based on disorder-to-order transitions of an elastin-like recombinamer (ELR) to co-assemble with graphene oxide (GO). Here, we establish reproducible processes, optimize printing parameters for its use as a bioink, describe new advantages that the self-assembling bioink can provide, and demonstrate how to fabricate novel structures with physiological relevance. We fabricate capillary-like structures with resolutions down to ∼10 µm in diameter and ∼2 µm thick tube walls and use both experimental and finite element analysis to characterize the printing conditions, underlying interfacial diffusion-reaction mechanism of assembly, printing fidelity, and material porosity and permeability. We demonstrate the capacity to modulate the pore size and tune the permeability of the resulting structures with and without human umbilical vascular endothelial cells. Finally, the potential of the ELR-GO bioink to enable supramolecular fabrication of biomimetic structures was demonstrated by printing tubes exhibiting walls with progressively different structure and permeability.
AUTHOR Nulty, Jessica and Burdis, Ross and Kelly, Daniel J.
Title Biofabrication of Prevascularised Hypertrophic Cartilage Microtissues for Bone Tissue Engineering [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
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Bone tissue engineering (TE) has the potential to transform the treatment of challenging musculoskeletal pathologies. To date, clinical translation of many traditional TE strategies has been impaired by poor vascularisation of the implant. Addressing such challenges has motivated research into developmentally inspired TE strategies, whereby implants mimicking earlier stages of a tissue’s development are engineered in vitro and then implanted in vivo to fully mature into the adult tissue. The goal of this study was to engineer in vitro tissues mimicking the immediate developmental precursor to long bones, specifically a vascularised hypertrophic cartilage template, and to then assess the capacity of such a construct to support endochondral bone formation in vivo. To this end, we first developed a method for the generation of large numbers of hypertrophic cartilage microtissues using a microwell system, and encapsulated these microtissues into a fibrin-based hydrogel capable of supporting vasculogenesis by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The microwells supported the formation of bone marrow derived stem/stromal cell (BMSC) aggregates and their differentiation toward a hypertrophic cartilage phenotype over 5 weeks of cultivation, as evident by the development of a matrix rich in sulphated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG), collagen types I, II, and X, and calcium. Prevascularisation of these microtissues, undertaken in vitro 1 week prior to implantation, enhanced their capacity to mineralise, with significantly higher levels of mineralised tissue observed within such implants after 4 weeks in vivo within an ectopic murine model for bone formation. It is also possible to integrate such microtissues into 3D bioprinting systems, thereby enabling the bioprinting of scaled-up, patient-specific prevascularised implants. Taken together, these results demonstrate the development of an effective strategy for prevascularising a tissue engineered construct comprised of multiple individual microtissue “building blocks,” which could potentially be used in the treatment of challenging bone defects.
AUTHOR Oliveira, Hugo and Médina, Chantal and Stachowicz, Marie-Laure and Paiva dos Santos, Bruno and Chagot, Lise and Dusserre, Nathalie and Fricain, Jean-Christophe
Title Extracellular matrix (ECM)-derived bioinks designed to foster vasculogenesis and neurite outgrowth: Characterization and bioprinting [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Bioprinting
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The field of bioprinting has shown a tremendous development in recent years, focusing on the development of advanced in vitro models and on regeneration approaches. In this scope, the lack of suitable biomaterials that can be efficiently formulated as printable bioinks, while supporting specific cellular events, is currently considered as one of the main limitations in the field. Indeed, extracellular matrix (ECM)-derived biomaterials formulated to enable printability and support cellular response, for instance via integrin binding, are eagerly awaited in the field of bioprinting. Several bioactive laminin sequences, including peptides such as YIGSR and IKVAV, have been identified to promote endothelial cell attachment and/or neurite outgrowth and guidance, respectively. Here, we show the development of two distinct bioinks, designed to foster vasculogenesis or neurogenesis, based on methacrylated collagen and hyaluronic acid (CollMA and HAMA, respectively), both relevant ECM-derived polymers, and on their combination with cysteine-flanked laminin-derived peptides. Using this strategy, it was possible to optimize the bioink printability, by tuning CollMA and HAMA concentration and ratio, and modulate their bioactivity, through adjustments in the cell-active peptide sequence spatial density, without compromising cell viability. We demonstrated that cell-specific bioinks could be customized for the bioprinting of both human umbilical vein cord endothelial cells (HUVECs) or adult rat sensory neurons from the dorsal root ganglia, and could stimulate both vasculogenesis and neurite outgrowth, respectively. This approach holds great potential as it can be tailored to other cellular models, due to its inherent capacity to accommodate different peptide compositions and to generate complex peptide mixtures and/or gradients.
AUTHOR Tan, Edgar Y. S. and Suntornnond, Ratima and Yeong, Wai Yee
Title High-Resolution Novel Indirect Bioprinting of Low-Viscosity Cell-Laden Hydrogels via Model-Support Bioink Interaction [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing
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Abstract Bioprinting of unmodified soft extracellular matrix into complex 3D structures has remained challenging to fabricate. Herein, we established a novel process for the printing of low-viscosity hydrogel by using a unique support technique to retain the structural integrity of the support structure. We demonstrated that this process of printing could be used for different types of hydrogel, ranging from fast crosslinking gelatin methacrylate to slow crosslinking collagen type I. In addition, we evaluated the biocompatibility of the process by observing the effects of the cytotoxicity of L929 and the functionality of the human umbilical vein endothelium primary cells after printing. The results show that the bioprinted construct provided excellent biocompatibility as well as supported cell growth and differentiation. Thus, this is a novel technique that can be potentially used to enhance the resolution of the extrusion-based bioprinter.
AUTHOR Eltaher, Hoda M. and Abukunna, Fatima E. and Ruiz-Cantu, Laura and Stone, Zack and Yang, Jing and Dixon, James E.
Title Human-scale tissues with patterned vascular networks by additive manufacturing of sacrificial sugar-protein composites [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Acta Biomaterialia
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Combating necrosis, by supplying nutrients and removing waste, presents the major challenge for engineering large three-dimensional (3D) tissues. Previous elegant work used 3D printing with carbohydrate glass as a cytocompatible sacrificial template to create complex engineered tissues with vascular networks (Miller et al. 2012, Nature Materials). The fragile nature of this material compounded with the technical complexity needed to create high-resolution structures led us to create a flexible sugar-protein composite, termed Gelatin-sucrose matrix (GSM), to achieve a more robust and applicable material. Here we developed a low-range (25–37˚C) temperature sensitive formulation that can be moulded with micron-resolution features or cast during 3D printing to produce complex flexible filament networks forming sacrificial vessels. Using the temperature-sensitivity, we could control filament degeneration meaning GSM can be used with a variety of matrices and crosslinking strategies. Furthermore by incorporation of biocompatible crosslinkers into GSM directly, we could create thin endothelialized vessel walls and generate patterned tissues containing multiple matrices and cell-types. We also demonstrated that perfused vascular channels sustain metabolic function of a variety of cell-types including primary human cells. Importantly, we were able to construct vascularized human noses which otherwise would have been necrotic. Our material can now be exploited to create human-scale tissues for regenerative medicine applications. Statement of Significance Authentic and engineered tissues have demands for mass transport, exchanging nutrients and oxygen, and therefore require vascularization to retain viability and inhibit necrosis. Basic vascular networks must be included within engineered tissues intrinsically. Yet, this has been unachievable in physiologically-sized constructs with tissue-like cell densities until recently. Sacrificial moulding is an alternative in which networks of rigid lattices of filaments are created to prevent subsequent matrix ingress. Our study describes a biocompatible sacrificial sugar-protein formulation; GSM, made from mixtures of inexpensive and readily available bio-grade materials. GSM can be cast/moulded or bioprinted as sacrificial filaments that can rapidly dissolve in an aqueous environment temperature-sensitively. GSM material can be used to engineer viable and vascularized human-scale tissues for regenerative medicine applications.
AUTHOR Suntornnond, R. and Tan, E. Y. S. and An, J. and Chua, C. K.
Title A highly printable and biocompatible hydrogel composite for direct printing of soft and perfusable vasculature-like structures [Abstract]
Year 2017
Journal/Proceedings Scientific Reports
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Vascularization is one major obstacle in bioprinting and tissue engineering. In order to create thick tissues or organs that can function like original body parts, the presence of a perfusable vascular system is essential. However, it is challenging to bioprint a hydrogel-based three-dimensional vasculature-like structure in a single step. In this paper, we report a new hydrogel-based composite that offers impressive printability, shape integrity, and biocompatibility for 3D bioprinting of a perfusable complex vasculature-like structure. The hydrogel composite can be used on a non-liquid platform and is printable at human body temperature. Moreover, the hydrogel composite supports both cell proliferation and cell differentiation. Our results represent a potentially new vascularization strategy for 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering.