Morphogenesis, generation of tissue in the embryo

Marcel Karperien, Bernard Roelen, Rob Poelmann, Adriana Gittenberger-de Groot, Beerend Hierck, Marco DeRuiter, Dies Meijer, Sue Gibbs

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    13 Downloads (Pure)


    Tissues in the human body are the result of millions of- years of evolution. This process has resulted in the natural selection of a tissue structure that is optimally adapted to its function in the body. Tissue engineering aims at repairing damaged tissue that is insufficient or cannot be repaired by the intrinsic repair mechanisms present in almost all organs of an individual. In most instances, these intrinsic repair mechanisms recapitulate many of the processes involved in the formation of an organ during embryogenesis. Incorporation of these mechanisms in tissue engineering procedures will significantly contribute to the success of the construct in the body. Thus important lessons for tissue engineering can be learned from the formation of organs during embryogenesis. For example, on (i) the origin of cells that contribute to the formation of a particular organ, (ii) the growth factors and their interrelationship in the formation of an organ, (iii) the mechanisms by which undifferentiated precursor cells are induced to specialize into an organ specific cell type, (iv) the subsequent steps in organ formation and (v) the interaction between cells and their environment consisting of both the extracellular matrix and neighboring cells. Ideally, inclusion of all these aspects in the tissue engineering procedure will provide the best change of success.

    This chapter aims at providing a background on the formation of various organs during embryogenesis that are subject of tissue engineering, like the heart, blood vessels, peripheral nerves, skin, bone and cartilage. It starts with providing an overview of the formation of pluri- and multipotent cell populations and their positioning in the overall body plan. Subsequently, some of the basic mechanisms by which these cell populations are recruited in organogenesis are discussed in greater detail.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTissue Engineering
    EditorsClemens A. van Blitterswijk
    Place of PublicationLonden
    ISBN (Print)978-0-12-370869-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • METIS-253652


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