Publication: Neovascularization of engineered tissues for clinical translation: Where we are, where we should be?
One of the key challenges in engineering three-dimensional tissue constructs is the development of a mature microvascular network capable of supplying sufficient oxygen and nutrients to the tissue. Recent angiogenic therapeutic strategies have focused on vascularization of the constructed tissue, and its integration in vitro; these strategies typically combine regenerative cells, growth factors (GFs) with custom-designed biomaterials. However, the field needs to progress in the clinical translation of tissue engineering strategies. The article first presents a detailed description of the steps in neovascularization and the roles of extracellular matrix elements such as GFs in angiogenesis. It then delves into decellularization, cell, and GF-based strategies employed thus far for therapeutic angiogenesis, with a particularly detailed examination of different methods by which GFs are delivered in biomaterial scaffolds. Finally, interdisciplinary approaches involving advancement in biomaterials science and current state of technological development in fabrication techniques are critically evaluated, and a list of remaining challenges is presented that need to be solved for successful translation to the clinics.