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Localized delivery of angiogenesis-promoting factors such as small molecules, nucleic acids, peptides, and proteins to promote the repair and regeneration of damaged tissues remains a challenge in vascular tissue engineering. Current delivery methods such as direct administration of therapeutics can fail to maintain the necessary sustained release profile and often rely on supraphysiologic doses to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. By implementing a microparticle delivery system, localized delivery can be coupled with sustained controlled release to mitigate the risks involved with the high dosages currently required from direct therapeutic administration. For this purpose, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microparticles were fabricated via antisolvent microencapsulation and the loading, release, and delivery of model angiogenic molecules specifically a small molecule, nucleic acid, and protein, were assessed in vitro using microvascular fragments (MVF). The microencapsulation approach utilized enabled rapid spherical particle formation and encapsulation of model drugs of different sizes, all in one method. The addition of a fibrin scaffold, required for the culture of the MVFs, reduced the initial burst of model drugs, observed in release profiles from PLGA alone. Lastly, in vitro studies using MVFs demonstrated that higher concentrations of microparticles led to greater co-localization of the model therapeutic (miRNA) with MVFs, which is vital for targeted delivery methods. It was also found that the biodistribution of miRNA using the delivered microparticle system was enhanced compared to direct administration. Overall, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microparticles, formulated and loaded with model therapeutic compounds in one step, resulted in improved biodistribution in a model of the vasculature leading to a future in translational revascularization.

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