Vascularization is essential for tissue regeneration. Despite extensive efforts in the past decades, sufficient and rapid vascularization remains a major challenge in tissue engineering. Many studies have shown that the addition of channels in a porous scaffold can provide the ability to promote cell growth and rapid vascularization, thus leading to better outcomes in new tissue formation.
Large size scaffolds lack perfusable channel networks and negatively impair the survival of transplanted cells and tissue function development, leading to necrotic core formation and the failure of functional tissue formation. Presently, there are many methods to produce channels in porous scaffolds for vascularization. Here, we review the function of channels in porous scaffolds and the approaches to produce those channels.