Zhang Guangliang received the M.D. degree in clinical medicine of Soochow University in 2018. From 2015 to 2017, he was a visiting scholar at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in USA. From 2018 to 2020, he was a post-doctoral scholar with the School of Materials at the Soochow University. Since 2014, he has been a hand surgeon at Ruihua affililated Hospital of Soochow University . His main research interests are focused on basic and clinical research on wound repair, including the design and modeling of 3D bioprinted skin and vascularization of tissue.
Regulation of Vascular Branch Formation in a 3D Bioprinting Tissue using Mechanical Confined Force
The quality of the vascular network is key to the success of skin transplants. For skin grafts created with tissue engineering, vascularization is a critical step determining tissue survival. Pre-vascularization of bioengineered tissues is the basis for the establishment of effective high-quality vascular networks. In our study, a 3D bioprinted model was established to study the effects of mechanical stimulation on vascular tissue development. A co-culture of human dermal fibroblasts (HNDFs) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), mixed with fibrin hydrogel, was confined by a polycaprolactone (PCL) frame and suspended in medium after culture. The results showed that a 3D bioprinted model to simulate the mechanical stimulation of vascular tissue development was established. Based on this, we here create a pre-vascularized tissue using 3D bioprinting and show that the vascular branches of the tissue can be controlled by confined forces created by size change of the polycaprolactone (PCL) framework (Fig. A-C). The confined force was measured. The Yes-associated protein participated in the regulation of vascular branch formation in the tissue. Moreover, a close relationship between the width of the cell-fibrin strip, the magnitude of force and the number of vascular branches in the bioprinted tissue exist (Fig. D-E). Our findings indicate that vascularization of bioengineered skin tissue is a complex and controllable process, and precise conditional control can achieve effective vascular network generation.