Artificial vascularised scaffolds for 3D tissue regeneration (ArtiVasc)

Authors: Dr. Monika Bach, Prof. Dr. Günter Tovar und Dr. Kirsten Borchers, Dr. Petra Kluger (beide Fraunhofer IGB)

Synthetic tailor-made scaffolds – a key issue for tissue engineering

The use of artificial tissue in regenerative medicine bears a great therapeutic potential, but also has to meet high demands with respect to the generation of functional tissue in vitro and the interaction of bioartificial device and natural tissue. Key issues for the successful use of in vitro engineered tissues and implants as natural tissue and organ replacements are long term stability and integration in the human body. Up to now numerous approaches for generation of bioartificial tissues have not succeeded due to insufficient nutrition and oxygen supply. Therefore current tissue engineered products can only be found in non vascularised tissues such as cartilage and in vitro skin equivalents.

Artivasc 3D – manufacturing vascularized scaffolds for 3D tissue generation

The ArtiVasc 3D project breaks new ground in this approach by providing a micro- and nano-scale based manufacturing and functionalisation technology for the generation of a fully vascularised bioartificial tissue, which enables continuous nutrition and metabolism. The ArtiVasc 3D bioartificial vascularised tissue can therefore be used for the first time as a tissue replacement with natural properties.

To this aim, ArtiVasc 3D builds on the innovative combination of micro-scale printing, nano-scale multiphoton polymerisation, electro-spinning, chemical and morphological surface modification and cell culture. In a multidisciplinary approach, experts in biomaterial development, cell-matrix interaction, angiogenesis, tissue engineering, simulation and fabrication methods work together on generating standardised vascularised soft tissue in a fully automated and standardised manufacturing approach.

This vascularised tissue will be applied as a bioartificial tissue in reconstruction surgery, e.g. for burned skin or after tumour resection in breast cancer surgery. Additionally this new artificial vascularised skin will be used as innovative in vitro skin equivalent for pharmaceutical, cosmetics or chemical substance testing, which represents a promising approach to reduce expensive, ethically disputed animal testing.


The project is funded by the 7th framework program of the EU.

Project partner

Within this project we closely collaborate with our partner institute, the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, and 18 more partners from seven European countries.

This image shows Günter Tovar

Günter Tovar

Prof. Dr.

Director (acting)

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