Vascularized bioengineered grafts with TUNICELL

Achieving vascularization in a bioengineered tissue graft is essential for the transplanted graft to survive in the body. In order for the vascularization process to occur it is important to have a biomaterial, a scaffold, that facilitates endothelial cell adhesion.

In this new publication by Oskarsdotter and colleagues, they show a new approach of achieving autologous endothelialization in TUNICELL-based scaffolds by using adipose tissue-derived vascular cells on TUNICELL-scaffolds. 

The TUNICELL scaffold was modified by oxidation with sodium periodate, which was done in order to bioconjugate laminins to the scaffold. The researchers used human lipoaspirate to isolate the stromal vascular fraction and endothelial progenitor cells. 

The results showed that TUNICELL bioconjugated with laminins exhibited higher cell viability and scaffold surface coverage by adhesion regardless of cell type. Through immunofluorescence staining they observed positive results for endothelial markers, CD31 and CD34, showing that the scaffold promoted progenitor differentiation into mature endothelial cells.

Immunofluorescence staining of CD31 and CD34 on EPCs cultured on bioconjugated scaffolds. Confocal images (20× magnification) showing staining of CD31 ((A); green), CD34 ((B); red), nuclei ((C); blue), and merged + actin filaments ((D); orange). Cells expressed both CD34 and CD31, indicating that EPCs differentiated into mature endothelial cells.

Ocean TuniCell CSO Dr. Eric Thompson welcomes this new study: “The recent publication by Oskarsdotter and colleagues is a very nice demonstration of the flexibility to functionalize TUNICELL scaffolds to promote targeted biological outcomes. In this case, the objective is to develop strategies to generate early and efficient autologous vascularization of tissue engineered constructs, a feature vital to attaining successful outcomes in many regenerative medicine applications.”

Ocean TuniCell wants to congratulate Kristin Oskarsdotter and colleagues on their impressive publication, and we look forward to how this research will progress in the future and possibly contribute to shaping the future of medical treatments. 

Oskarsdotter K, Säljö K, Sämfors S, Niemi EM, Li S, Simonsson S, Apelgren P, Scholz H, Gatenholm P, Kölby L (2023) Autologous endothelialisation by the stromal vascular fraction on laminin-bioconjugated nanocellulose–alginate scaffolds, Biomed. Mat. 18:0405028,