Role of Growth Factors and Endothelial Cells in Therapeutic Angiogenesis and Tissue Engineering
To achieve the goals of engineering large complex tissues, and possibly internal organs, vascularization of the regenerating tissue is essential. To maintain the initial volume after implantation of regenerated tissue, improved vascularization is considered to be important. Recent advances in understanding the process of blood vessel growth has offered significant tools for the neovascularization of bioengineered tissues and therapeutic angiogenesis. Several angiogenic growth factors including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) were used for vascularization of ischemic tissues. Other approaches such as prevascularization of the scaffold, prior to cell seeding, and incorporation of endothelial cells in the bioengineered tissue showed encouraging results. In this article, we will review recent advances in angiogenic growth factors, and discuss the role of these growth factors and endothelial cells in therapeutic angiogenesis and tissue engineering.
Keywords: Tissue engineering, Growth factors, Angiogenesis, Endothelial cells, VEGF
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