Document Type


Publication Date




Source Publication

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part B, Applied Biomaterials

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1002/jbm.b.35182


The development of vascularized scaffolds remains one of the major challenges in tissue engineering, and co-culturing with endothelial cells is known as one of the possible approaches for this purpose. In this approach, optimization of cell culture conditions, scaffolds, and fabrication techniques is needed to develop tissue equivalents that will enable in vitro formation of a capillary network. Prevascularized equivalents will be more physiologically comparable to the native tissues and potentially prevent insufficient vascularization after implantation. This study aimed to culture human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), alone or in co-culture with fibroblasts, on collagen scaffolds prepared by simple fabrication approaches for in vitro prevascularization. Different concentrations and ratios of HUVECs and fibroblasts seeded on collagen gel and sponge scaffolds under several culture conditions were examined. Cell viability, scaffolds morphology, and structure were analyzed. Collagen gel scaffolds showed good cell proliferation and viability, with higher proliferation rates for cells cultured in a 2:1 (fibroblasts: HUVECs) ratio and kept in endothelial cell growth medium. However, these matrices were unable to support endothelial cell sprouting. Collagen sponges were highly porous and showed good cell viability. However, they became fragile over time in culture, and they still lack signs of vascularization. Collagen scaffolds were a good platform for cell growth and viability. However, under the experimental conditions of this study, the HUVEC/fibroblast-seeded scaffolds were not suitable platforms to generate in vitro prevascularized equivalents. Our findings will be a valuable starting point to optimize culture microenvironments and scaffolds during fabrication of prevascularized scaffolds.


Accepted version. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part B, Applied Biomaterials, Vol. 111, No. 3 (March 2023): 633-645. DOI. © 2023 Wiley. Used with permission.

Toth_15717acc.docx (1720 kB)
ADA Accessible Version