Bioengineers create stable networks of blood vessels

Feb 28, 2006
Bioengineers create stable networks of blood vessels
PNAS Cover, February 2006

Yale biomedical engineers have created an implantable system that can form and stabilize a functional network of fine blood vessels critical for supporting tissues in the body, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For body tissue to survive it must receive oxygen delivered through the finest of blood vessels. Led by Erin Lavik, assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering, this study shows that the fine network of blood vessels can be formed. Further, detailed microscopic studies showed that the vascular networks were stable as implants for up to six weeks and were able to connect with larger blood vessel structures.

"This expands our understanding of the neuro-vascular niche and opens up ways to address repair of severed nerves," said Joseph Madri professor of pathology at Yale School of Medicine and a co-author. "We can now study what affects the attraction and repulsion of nerve growth and drug delivery in a model system that can be used in vitro and in vivo."

The researchers used two important engineering enhancements to develop stable functional microcirculation. First, they created a "micro-scaffold" of a macroporous hydrogel polymer. The hydrogel is a three-dimensional, sponge-like material -- highly water-saturable, with a structure of connected pores for cells to grow on and through.

Second, they seeded the hydrogel scaffolds with endothelial cells that make up blood vessel structure along with nerve progenitor cells from the brain. Because there is often an association of nerve connections with vascular networks, they tested to see if a combination of the blood vessel-forming and nerve-forming cells would enhance development of the vascular networks.

"By their nature, hydrogels are well suited for the transport of soluble factors, nutrients or drugs, and waste," said Lavik. "The hydrogel scaffold materials are generally highly biocompatible and safe to implant due to the presence of large volumes of water."

Source: Yale University

Explore further: Changing dinosaur tracks spurs novel approach

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nanoengineers can print 3D microstructures in mere seconds

Sep 13, 2012

(Phys.org)—Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a novel technology that can fabricate, in mere seconds, microscale three dimensional (3D) structures out of soft, biocompatible ...

Nanoparticles harvest invisible cancer biomarkers

Nov 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Cancer biologists have long presumed that tumor cells shed telltale markers into the blood and that finding these blood-borne biomarkers could provide an early indicator that cancer is developing somewhere ...

Recommended for you

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

12 hours ago

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

15 hours ago

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

16 hours ago

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

16 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...