The lymphatic system is involved in maintaining interstitial fluid homeostasis, fat absorption and immune surveillance. Dysfunction of lymphatic fluid uptake can lead to lymphedema. Worldwide up to 250 million people are estimated to suffer from this disfiguring and disabling disease, which places a strain on the healthcare system as well as on the affected patients. The severity of lymphatic diseases calls for the establishment of new treatment methods. One approach is to replace dysfunctional lymphatic vessels with bio-engineered ones. Here, we mainly focus on hydrogels, scaffolds with cellular constructs, interstitial flow, and extracorporeal shock wave therapy. This review provides an overview on the current status of lymphatic biology and approaches of reconstruction and regeneration of lymphatic vascular tissues.
Bibliographical noteFinal publication is available from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ten.TEB.2016.0034
Fields of Science
- 3111 Biomedicine