Vasculogenesis and Angiogenesis
In the field of Tissue Engineering the sustenance of manufactured tissues with nutrients and oxygen implies a big challenge for their survival. Especially the oxygen supply is a limiting factor in cultivation and transplantation concerning the low diffusion rate of just 100-200 µm. For that reason complex tissues and organs can be hardly sustained. Currently a successful application can be realized for thin, avascular tissues like cartilage.
To achieve the requirement of a good supply we use blood vessel-like structures to generate a capillary network in a three-dimensional fibrin gel matrix. In general, the process of blood vessel generation can be separated into two mechanisms-the vasculogenesis and the angiogenesis. In vasculogenesis, it is basically the formation of blood islands in the embryonic stage ensuing from angioblasts and endothelial progenitor cells. From those already matured capillaries angiogenesis takes place in wound healing or tumorgenesis. It describes the interaction of endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells to form further vessels induced by sprouting processes.
The aim of our research is to generate a three-dimensional fibrin gel matrix with a distinct capillary network, which connects to the host vascular system after the transplantation into the patient (anastomosis). To support the formation of blood vessel like structures the application of polymeric fibers like spacer fabrics can serve as guidance.