Thermally-triggered fabrication of cell sheets for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.


Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science, Tokyo Women's Medical University, 8-1 Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8666, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


Cell transplantation is a promising approach for promoting tissue regeneration in the treatment of damaged tissues or organs. Although cells have conventionally been delivered by direct injection to damaged tissues, cell injection has limited efficiency to deliver therapeutic cells to the target sites. Progress in tissue engineering has moved scaffold-based cell/tissue delivery into the mainstream of tissue regeneration. A variety of scaffolds can be fabricated from natural or synthetic polymers to provide the appropriate culture conditions for cell growth and achieve in-vitro tissue formation. Tissue engineering has now become the primary approach for cell-based therapies. However, there are still serious limitations, particularly for engineering of cell-dense tissues. "Cell sheet engineering" is a scaffold-free tissue technology that holds even greater promise in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-grafted surfaces allow the fabrication of a tissue-like cell monolayer, a "cell sheet", and efficiently delivers this cell-dense tissue to damaged sites without the use of scaffolds. At present, this unique approach has been applied to human clinical studies in regenerative medicine. Furthermore, this thermally triggered cell manipulation system allows us to produce various types of 3D tissue models not only for regenerative medicine but also for tissue modeling, which can be used for drug discovery. Here, new cell sheet-based technologies are described including vascularization for scaled-up 3D tissue constructs, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology for human cell sheet fabrication and microfabrication for arranging tissue microstructures, all of which are expected to produce more complex tissues based on cell sheet tissue engineering.


Cell orientation,Cell sheet,Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide),Regenerative medicine,Scaffold-free,Thermoresponsive surface,Tissue engineering,Vascularization,iPS cell,