Figure 5 : Transplantation of in vitro vascularized cardiac tissues.

From: In vitro fabrication of functional three-dimensional tissues with perfusable blood vessels

Figure 5

(a) The six-layer tissue graft engineered by the double-step procedure was removed from the bioreactor system and transplanted in the neck of a nude rat with anastomosis between the protruding femoral vessels of the graft and the connectable neck blood vessels of the host rat. (b) The six-layer graft was transplanted without the vessel anastomosis. (c) The six-layer cell sheets (CS) without the vascular bed (VB) were simply transplanted. (df) In vivo bioluminescent imaging of each graft is shown. Obvious signals were observed in the graft with vessel anastomoses (d). The intensity was low in the graft without anastomosis (e) and in the graft without a vascular bed (f). (g) The intensity was significantly the highest in the graft with vessel anastomosis, compared with the other two grafts. Data are shown as mean±s.d. (*P<0.05) (n=4). (h) The vascularized graft with blood vessel anastomoses also maintained its vascular structure at 2 weeks after the procedure. Dotted line indicates the area of the graft with the vascular bed and arrows indicate the area of the cell sheet layers. (i) Immunostaining for CD31 (green: ECs) and calponin (red: smooth muscle cell) shows the uniform distribution of micro blood vessels in the cell sheet construct. (j) The detail in the white box of i illustrates the characteristics of a matured blood vessels including red blood cells.