Endothelial-Smooth Muscle Cell Interactions in a Shear-Exposed Intimal Hyperplasia on-a-Dish Model to Evaluate Therapeutic Strategies

Andreia Fernandes, Arnaud Miéville, Franziska Grob, Tadahiro Yamashita, Julia Mehl, Vahid Hosseini, Maximilian Y. Emmert, Volkmar Falk, Viola Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Intimal hyperplasia (IH) represents a major challenge following cardiovascular interventions. While mechanisms are poorly understood, the inefficient preventive methods incentivize the search for novel therapies. A vessel-on-a-dish platform is presented, consisting of direct-contact cocultures with human primary endothelial cells (ECs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) exposed to both laminar pulsatile and disturbed flow on an orbital shaker. With contractile SMCs sitting below a confluent EC layer, a model that successfully replicates the architecture of a quiescent vessel wall is created. In the novel IH model, ECs are seeded on synthetic SMCs at low density, mimicking reendothelization after vascular injury. Over 3 days of coculture, ECs transition from a network conformation to confluent 2D islands, as promoted by pulsatile flow, resulting in a “defected” EC monolayer. In defected regions, SMCs incorporated plasma fibronectin into fibers, increased proliferation, and formed multilayers, similarly to IH in vivo. These phenomena are inhibited under confluent EC layers, supporting therapeutic approaches that focus on endothelial regeneration rather than inhibiting proliferation, as illustrated in a proof-of-concept experiment with Paclitaxel. Thus, this in vitro system offers a new tool to study EC-SMC communication in IH pathophysiology, while providing an easy-to-use translational disease model platform for low-cost and high-content therapeutic development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2202317
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct 5


  • drug screening
  • endothelial cell networks
  • flow
  • in vitro coculture model
  • vascular injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Endothelial-Smooth Muscle Cell Interactions in a Shear-Exposed Intimal Hyperplasia on-a-Dish Model to Evaluate Therapeutic Strategies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this