The ERC VesselNet Project

Creating thick, composite, human-scale, facial tissues


Facial reconstruction


The VesselNet project
The project team

Facial reconstruction typically involves the use of autologous grafts and flaps or composite tissue allografts (CTA) , all of which are
highly complex tissues , whose fabrication using tissue engineering techniques remains a considerable challenge.
The face is composed of vastly vascularized and innervated soft tissue (comprised of
a layered structure of skin, fat and muscle) and bones.
Tissue engineering of these separate facial elements has been shown feasible. However, to date, no engineered composite soft tissue composed of multiple facial layers has been reported.

The VesselNet project focuses on engineering thick composite facial tissues of a human-scale personally adaptable shape, vascularized in-vitro, and innervated upon their transplantation.
Such constructs are expected to rapidly integrate with the host tissues and function.

The EU H2020 VesselNet is conducted by Prof. Shulamit Levenberg, bringing together experts in tissue engineering and plastic surgery.