Bioengineering functional human aortic vascular smooth-muscle strips in vitro

Louise Hecker, Luda Khait, Michael J. Welsh, Ravi Birla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The contraction and relaxation of VSM (vascular smooth muscle) are responsible for the maintenance of vascular tone, which is a major determinant of blood pressure. However, the molecular events leading to the contraction and relaxation of VSM are poorly understood. The development of three-dimensional bioengineered tissues provides an opportunity to investigate the molecular events controlling vascular tone in vitro. In the present study we used fibrin-gel casting to bioengineer functional VSM strips from primary human aortic VSM cells. Our bioengineered VSM strips are functionally similar to VSM in vivo and remained viable in culture for up to 5 weeks. VSM strips demonstrate spontaneous basal tone and can generate an active force (contraction) of up to 85.2 μN on stimulation with phenylephrine. Bioengineered VSM strips exhibited Ca2+-dependent contraction and calcium-independent relaxation. The development of functional bioengineered VSM tissue provides a new in vitro model system that can be used to investigate the molecular events controlling vascular tone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalBiotechnology and applied biochemistry
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cell culture, contractile force
  • Three-dimensional (3D) construct
  • Tissue engineering
  • Vascular smooth muscle
  • Vascular tone 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

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