SAM-based cell transfer to photopatterned hydrogels for microengineering vascular-like structures

Nasser Sadr, Mojun Zhu, Tatsuya Osaki, Takahiro Kakegawa, Yunzhi Yang, Matteo Moretti, Junji Fukuda, Ali Khademhosseini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A major challenge in tissue engineering is to reproduce the native 3D microvascular architecture fundamental for in vivo functions. Current approaches still lack a network of perfusable vessels with native 3D structural organization. Here we present a new method combining self-assembled monolayer (SAM)-based cell transfer and gelatin methacrylate hydrogel photopatterning techniques for microengineering vascular structures. Human umbilical vein cell (HUVEC) transfer from oligopeptide SAM-coated surfaces to the hydrogel revealed two SAM desorption mechanisms: photoinduced and electrochemically triggered. The former, occurs concomitantly to hydrogel photocrosslinking, and resulted in efficient (>97%) monolayer transfer. The latter, prompted by additional potential application, preserved cell morphology and maintained high transfer efficiency of VE-cadherin positive monolayers over longer culture periods. This approach was also applied to transfer HUVECs to 3D geometrically defined vascular-like structures in hydrogels, which were then maintained in perfusion culture for 15 days. As a step toward more complex constructs, a cell-laden hydrogel layer was photopatterned around the endothelialized channel to mimic the vascular smooth muscle structure of distal arterioles. This study shows that the coupling of the SAM-based cell transfer and hydrogel photocrosslinking could potentially open up new avenues in engineering more complex, vascularized tissue constructs for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7479-7490
Number of pages12
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Electrochemical cell detachment
  • Endothelial monolayer
  • Gelatin methacrylate
  • Photocrosslinkable hydrogel
  • Vascular microengineering
  • Zwitterionic oligopeptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biophysics


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