Rebuilding the Vascular Network: In vivo and in vitro Approaches (Meng et al, 2021)


The vascular network carries the transportation of materials and nutrients as the fluid delivery mechanism of the human body. Tissue engineering research, therefore, focuses primarily on the forming of functional vascular networks. The author presents in this regard, with the in vivo and in vitro-angiogenesis strategies and potential clinical applications, the latest evolution of the vascular network including the histological and cellular characteristics.

Vascularization in 3D cell models

Tissue engineering is intended for the treatment of physiological and medical problems using engineering methods. Its principal objective is to facilitate tissue transplantation or organ transplantation and basic research to construct viable tissues in vitro modeling. A difficulty now is how to produce a significant amount of viable tissue (>1 cm3). The main challenge in new tissues is at present not creating a vascularized in vitro network capable of producing oxygen and nutrients, resulting in rapid necrotization of the core areas of the tissue generated without vascularisation.

The authors first presented the basic features of the body’s blood vessels and angiogenesis in vivo process outlined existing approaches to build blood vessels in vitro and in vivo and concentrated on comparing the roles, uses, and benefits of building various kinds of blood vessels. Finally, there was a discussion of the challenges and opportunities in this sector.


The authors state, “As the material transportation system of the human body, the vascular network carries the transportation of materials and nutrients. Currently, the construction of functional microvascular networks is an urgent requirement for the development of regenerative medicine and in vitro drug screening systems. How to construct organs with functional blood vessels is the focus and challenge of tissue engineering research. Here in this review article, we first introduced the basic characteristics of blood vessels in the body and the mechanism of angiogenesis in vivo, summarized the current methods of constructing tissue blood vessels in vitro and in vivo, and focused on comparing the functions, applications, and advantages of constructing different types of vascular chips to generate blood vessels. Finally, the challenges and opportunities faced by the development of this field were discussed.”


Meng X, Xing Y, Li J, Deng C, Li Y, Ren X, Zhang D. Rebuilding the Vascular Network: In vivo and in vitro Approaches. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 Apr 21;9:639299. DOI: 10.3389/fcell.2021.639299. PMID: 33968926; PMCID: PMC8097043.

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