Geometrically controlled endothelial tubulogenesis in micropatterned gels

Srivatsan Raghavan, Celeste M. Nelson, Jan D. Baranski, Emerson Lim, Christopher S. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


We present a novel approach to control endothelial tubulogenesis by spatially patterning cells within micromolded collagen gels. Endothelial cells cultured within microscale channels that were filled with collagen gel organized into tubes with lumens within 24-48h of seeding. These tubes extended up to 1cm in length, and exhibited cell-cell junction formation characteristic of early stage capillary vessels. Tube diameter could be controlled by varying collagen concentrations or channel width. The geometry of the microfabricated template also could be used to guide the development of branches during tube formation, allowing for the generation of more complex capillary architectures. Time-lapse imaging of tube formation revealed a highly dynamic process involving coalescence of endothelial cells, reorganization and alignment of collagen fibers into a central core, and arrangement of cells into cords. This platform may be of use to generate geometrically defined vascular networks for tissue engineering applications as well as a means to better understand the process of endothelial tubulogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2255-2263
Number of pages9
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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