Title: “Engineering Components of a Vascularized Microsurgically Implantable Adipose Tissue”
Joe Tien, PhD – BME (Advisor)
Mark Grinstaff, PhD – BME (Chair)
Bela Suki, PhD – BME
Katherine Zhang, PhD – ME
Elizabeth Suki, MD, D.Sc – BME
Current method to treat large soft tissue defects relies on transfer of autologous adipocutaneous tissue, a method that is often limited by donor site availability. Engineered adipose tissue can potentially serve as a readily accessible substitute to autologous tissue. As immediate vascularization is critical for tissue survival after transplantation, it is important for the engineered tissue to contain preformed vasculature that can be connected to native circulation via suture anastomosis. In this work we present meehods to engineer 1) an endothelialized dense collagen tube that can serve as the bridge between the engineered tissue and the host circulation and 2) a small-scale, perfusable, vascularized adipose tissue. We’ve shown that the endothelializaed dense collagen tube can be implanted in the rat femoral circulation and remained patent for up to seven days. We’ve also shown that the adipocytes in the vascularized adipose tissue responded to perfusion with lipoactive hormones in a physiologically correct manner. These two constructs will serve as the base unit for engineering larger, implantable vascularized adipose tissue.