In vivo tissues have finely controlled hierarchical structure that is often difficult to mimic in vitro. Microfabrication techniques, such as microcontact printing, can be used to reproduce tissue structure in vitro by controlling cell shape and orientation [1]. Several recent results suggest that cellular organization and structure can influence tissue function in engineered tissues [2–4]. For example, using microcontact printing and muscular thin film technology, we recently demonstrated that engineered vascular tissues whose smooth muscle cells possessed more elongated spindle-like geometries, similar to in vivo structure, exhibited more physiological contractile function [5]. In these studies, cells were seeded using traditional imprecise seeding methods. But recent results have shown that cell-cell coupling plays a significant role in functional contractility [6], suggesting that not only cellular geometry, but cell-cell organization, within a tissue is important to reproduce in engineered tissues to mimic in vivo function.

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