AUTHORS : Abatangelo G. Brun P Cortivo R Panfilo S Tonello C Zavan B 2003 Biomaterials 2003 Mar ;24 (7):1205-1211 Univ Padua, Dept Histol Microbiol & Med Biotechnol, I-35121 Padua, Italy. Abatangelo, G, Univ Padua, Dept Histol Microbiol & Med Biotechnol, Viale G Colombo 3, I-35121 Padua, Italy. Print In vitro reconstruction of human dermal equivalent enriched with endothelial cells Experiences coming from many cell-culture studies has brought about the concept that tissue and organ reconstruction should be performed in a three-dimensional environment as it normally occurs in vivo. As far as endothelial cell culture is concerned, it has been shown that angiogenesis can be successfully achieved only when cells are cultured in the presence of collagen-based matrices or basal membrane substrates. The aim of the present investigation is to demonstrate that human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) can be grown and differentiated on an artificial dermis obtained by fibroblasts cultured on hyaluronic acid-based scaffolds. For this purpose, we have cultured HUVEC, retrieved by collagenase digestion of perfused human umbilical vein either alone and with fibroblast at 1/1 ratio into HYAFF-11 non-woven mesh. Cultures were maintained for up to 3 weeks. Samples were taken at different time points within this period for the MTT proliferation test and for immunohistochemical analysis. Our results demonstrate that hyaluronan-based biomaterials (HYAFF-11 NW mesh) represent a suitable substrate for HUVEC adhesion, proliferation and reorganization in microcapillary network. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.