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10.3389_fcvm.2022.847554.pdf (3.89 MB)

3D Tissue-Engineered Vascular Drug Screening Platforms: Promise and Considerations

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submitted on 2024-06-26, 13:34 and posted on 2024-06-26, 13:34 authored by Isra Marei, Tala Abu Samaan, Maryam Ali Al-Quradaghi, Asmaa A. Farah, Shamin Hayat Mahmud, Hong Ding, Chris R. Triggle

Despite the efforts devoted to drug discovery and development, the number of new drug approvals have been decreasing. Specifically, cardiovascular developments have been showing amongst the lowest levels of approvals. In addition, concerns over the adverse effects of drugs to the cardiovascular system have been increasing and resulting in failure at the preclinical level as well as withdrawal of drugs post-marketing. Besides factors such as the increased cost of clinical trials and increases in the requirements and the complexity of the regulatory processes, there is also a gap between the currently existing pre-clinical screening methods and the clinical studies in humans. This gap is mainly caused by the lack of complexity in the currently used 2D cell culture-based screening systems, which do not accurately reflect human physiological conditions. Cell-based drug screening is widely accepted and extensively used and can provide an initial indication of the drugs' therapeutic efficacy and potential cytotoxicity. However, in vitro cell-based evaluation could in many instances provide contradictory findings to the in vivo testing in animal models and clinical trials. This drawback is related to the failure of these 2D cell culture systems to recapitulate the human physiological microenvironment in which the cells reside. In the body, cells reside within a complex physiological setting, where they interact with and respond to neighboring cells, extracellular matrix, mechanical stress, blood shear stress, and many other factors. These factors in sum affect the cellular response and the specific pathways that regulate variable vital functions such as proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. Although pre-clinical in vivo animal models provide this level of complexity, cross species differences can also cause contradictory results from that seen when the drug enters clinical trials. Thus, there is a need to better mimic human physiological conditions in pre-clinical studies to improve the efficiency of drug screening. A novel approach is to develop 3D tissue engineered miniaturized constructs in vitro that are based on human cells. In this review, we discuss the factors that should be considered to produce a successful vascular construct that is derived from human cells and is both reliable and reproducible.

Other Information

Published in: Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
See article on publisher's website:


Qatar National Research Fund (UREP25-042-3-011), Towards the Development of an Endothelial Progenitor Cell - Based Vascular Graft for Drug Screening.

L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Young Talents Program/Middle East, 2020.



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar