Endothelial cells (EC) are subjected to mechanical stimuli and respond via mechanotransduction in vivo. Endothelial cells aligning along the laminar fluid flow direction is widely known to be a morphological feature of vascular function1. Advances in tissue engineering of dynamic vascular tissue models have been increasing day by day1–3. However, the effect of flow on EC pathophysiology has been mostly studied in two-dimensional (2D) in vitro cell culture platforms or microfluidic devices. To fill this gap, we here designed and fabricated a 3D-printed platform that allows a steady laminar fluid shear that is important for healthy vascular tissue dynamics. Moreover, the platform provides controlled laminar flow areas to create complete in-plane intercellular stress fields within the human endothelial cell monolayer on porous substrates. Together with human endothelial cells, this simple and cost-effective platform offers an alternative solution to mimic vascular tissues to identify new therapeutic targets in vascular disease and significantly increase our understanding of the mechanobiology of endothelial cells.
This work has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 812673 and was conducted within the Organoids for Virus Research (OrganoVIR) network.
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3. Yang Y, et al., Lab on a Chip, 19, 3212–3219, 2019.