Smooth muscle architecture within cell-dense vascular tissues influences functional contractility

Zaw Win, Geoffrey D. Vrla, Kerianne E. Steucke, Emily N. Sevcik, Eric S. Hald, Patrick W. Alford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The role of vascular smooth muscle architecture in the function of healthy and dysfunctional vessels is poorly understood. We aimed at determining the relationship between vascular smooth muscle architecture and contractile output using engineered vascular tissues. We utilized microcontact printing and a microfluidic cell seeding technique to provide three different initial seeding conditions, with the aim of influencing the cellular architecture within the tissue. Cells seeded in each condition formed confluent and aligned tissues but within the tissues, the cellular architecture varied. Tissues with a more elongated cellular architecture had significantly elevated basal stress and produced more contractile stress in response to endothelin-1 stimulation. We also found a correlation between the contractile phenotype marker expression and the cellular architecture, contrary to our previous findings in non-confluent tissues. Taken with previous results, these data suggest that within cell-dense vascular tissues, smooth muscle contractility is strongly influenced by cell and tissue architectures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1210
Number of pages10
JournalIntegrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


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