In order for engineered tissues to find clinical utility, the engineered tissues must function appropriately. However, smooth muscle (SM) tissues engineered in vitro with a conventional tissue engineering technique may not exhibit contractile functions, because smooth muscle cells (SMCs) cultured in vitro typically revert from a contractile, differentiated phenotype to a synthetic, nondifferentiated phenotype and lose their ability to contract. SMCs in vivo typically reside in mechanically dynamic environments. We hypothesized that cyclic mechanical stretch induces the features of SMCs in in vitro engineered tissues to be similar to those of SMCs in native tissues. To test the hypothesis, aortic SMCs were seeded onto elastic, three-dimensional scaffolds and cultured in vitro under a cyclic mechanical stretching condition for 4 weeks. A significant cell alignment in a direction parallel to the cyclic stretching direction was found in the SM tissues exposed to cyclic stretching. The cellular alignment and alignment direction were consistent with those of native vascular SM tissues, in which SMCs in vivo align in the radial direction (parallel to stretching direction). In control tissues (SM tissues engineered without stretching), cells randomly aligned. The expression of SM α-actin and SM myosin heavy chain, phenotypic markers of SMCs in a contractile state, was upregulated in the stretched tissues by 2.5- and 2.0-fold, respectively, compared to SMCs in the control tissues. The cellular features of alignment and contractile phenotype of SMCs in the SM tissues engineered under a mechanically dynamic environment could allow the engineered SM tissues to exhibit contractile functions.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of microbiology and biotechnology|
|Publication status||Published - 2003 Dec 1|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology