Comparably accelerated vascularization by preincorporation of aortic fragments and mesenchymal stem cells in implanted tissue engineering constructs

The demanding need for tissue replacement resulted in manifold approaches for the construction of different tissues. One common problem which hampers the clinical usage of tissue engineering constructs is a limited vascularization. In an attempt to accelerate the vascularization of tissue engineering constructs we compared the usage of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSCs) and fragments derived from the aorta in vivo. Tissue engineering constructs composed of PLGA scaffolds containing Matrigel (n = 8), aortic fragments embedded in Matrigel (n = 8), bmMSCs embedded in Matrigel (n = 8), and aortic fragments embedded in Matrigel combined with bmMSCs (n = 8) were implanted into dorsal skinfold chambers of balb/c mice and analyzed repetitively over 14 days. In all groups a weak inflammatory response was transiently apparent. Vascularization was significantly (p= 0.05) accelerated in bmMSC and aortic fragments containing constructs compared with Matrigel alone, demonstrated by a distinctly increased microvascular density throughout the whole experiment. The combination of bmMSCs and aortic fragments showed no additional effect compared with bmMSCs and aortic fragments alone. The accelerated vascularization and microvascular density of tissue engineering constructs triggered by bmMSCs and aortic fragments is comparable. Thus aortic fragments provide a new promising source for clinical relevant tissue engineering constructs.