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Functional small-diameter tissue-engineered blood vessels (TEBVs) have been developed in silico using biodegradable polymeric scaffolds under pulsatile perfusion. Accurate simulation of physiological mechanical stimulations in vitro is a crucial factor in vascular engineering. However, little is known about the patterns of mechanical stimulation on silicone tubes. This study aimed to determine the optimal mechanical conditions required for inducing circumferential deformations in silicone tubes during in vitro vascular development under pulsatile perfusion. For this purpose, we established a data acquisition (DAQ) system with a laser micrometer and pressure transducers to evaluate changes in the diameter of silicone tubes in response to pulsatile flow and validated the results on cultured TEBVs. The established DAQ system showed satisfactory reproducibility for measuring diameter variation in the in silico model. Furthermore, the hardness and thickness of the silicone tubes affected the mechanical conditioning in the three-dimensional culture system under different working pressures, frequencies, and circumferential deformations. We demonstrated a simple and reliable approach to quantify the circumferential strain and deformations to ensure optimal mechanical stimulation of the cultured TEBVs under pulsatile perfusion. Based on the results, we were able to dynamically culture dense cellularized small-diameter TEBVs. This study highlights the importance of mechanical stimulation in vascular tissue engineering. Impact statement This study demonstrated a direct and noncontact data acquisition system for quantifying the strain on the supporting silicone medium during three-dimensional tissue-engineered blood vessel culture, which can help optimize the mechanical parameters for vascular tissue engineering.


Zhang Wen, Haohao Zhou, Jiahui Zhou, Wanwen Chen, Yueheng Wu, Zhanyi Lin. Quantitative Evaluation of Mechanical Stimulation for Tissue-Engineered Blood Vessels. Tissue engineering. Part C, Methods. 2021 May;27(5):337-347

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PMID: 33913766

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