VEGF-mediated angiogenesis and vascularization of a fumarate-crosslinked polycaprolactone (PCLF) scaffold

Eric R. Wagner, Joshua Parry, Mahrokh Dadsetan, Dalibel Bravo, Scott M. Riester, Andre J. Van Wijnen, Michael J. Yaszemski, Sanjeev Kakar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Revascularization of natural and synthetic scaffolds is a critical part of the scaffold’s incorporation and tissue ingrowth. Our goals were to create a biocompatible polymer scaffold with 3D-printing technology, capable of sustaining vascularization and tissue ingrowth. Methods: We synthesized biodegradable polycaprolactone fumarate (PCLF) scaffolds to allow tissue ingrowth via large interconnected pores. The scaffolds were prepared with Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)(PLGA) microspheres seeded with or without different growth factors including VEGF,FGF-2, and/or BMP-2. Scaffolds were implanted into the subcutaneous tissues of rats before undergoing histologic and microCT angiographic analysis. Results: At harvest after 12 weeks, scaffolds had tissue infiltrating into their pores without signs of scar tissue formation, fibrous capsule formation, or immune responses against PCLF. Histology for M1/M2 macrophage phenotypes confirmed that there were no overt signs of immune responses. Both microCT angiography and histologic analysis demonstrated marked tissue and vessel ingrowth throughout the pores traversing the body of the scaffolds. Scaffolds seeded with microspheres containing VEGF or VEGF with either BMP-2 or FGF-2 had significantly higher vascular ingrowth and vessel penetration than controls. All VEGF-augmented scaffolds were positive for Factor-VIII and exhibited collagen tissue infiltration throughout the pores. Furthermore, scaffolds with VEGF and BMP-2 had high levels of mineral deposition throughout the scaffold that are attributable to BMP-2. Conclusions: PCLF polymer scaffold can be utilized as a framework for vascular ingrowth and regeneration of multiple types of tissues. This novel scaffold material has promise in tissue regeneration across all types of tissues from soft tissue to bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-549
Number of pages8
JournalConnective Tissue Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2018


  • PCLF
  • Polymer
  • VEGF
  • scaffolds
  • tissue engineering
  • vascular
  • vascularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Biochemistry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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