Breaking News
February 17, 2019 - Exercise gives a better brain boost to older men than women
February 17, 2019 - New research disproves previous assumptions of how looks influence personality
February 17, 2019 - Cannabis use as a teenager linked to depression later in life
February 17, 2019 - Sinks by Toilets in ICU Patient Rooms Harbor Harmful Bacteria
February 17, 2019 - Cancer cells’ plasticity makes them harder to stop
February 17, 2019 - Young cannabis users have increased risk of depression and suicidal behavior
February 17, 2019 - Tasmanian Devils Likely to Survive Cancer Scourge
February 17, 2019 - Neoadjuvant PD-1 blockade seems effective in glioblastoma
February 17, 2019 - Personal, social factors play role in enabling sustainable return to work after ill health
February 17, 2019 - Mouse studies show ‘inhibition’ theory of autism wrong
February 17, 2019 - Study shows how neuroactive steroids inhibit activity of pro-inflammatory proteins
February 17, 2019 - Use of liver grafts from older donors decreased despite better outcomes in recipients
February 17, 2019 - MUSC researchers discover new mechanism for a class of anti-cancer drugs
February 17, 2019 - HPV misconceptions are causing women to miss smear tests
February 17, 2019 - Sanofi and Regeneron Offer Praluent (alirocumab) at a New Reduced U.S. List Price
February 17, 2019 - Researchers say auditory testing can identify children for autism screening
February 17, 2019 - New method analyzes how single biological cells react to stressful situations
February 17, 2019 - WVU gynecologic oncologist investigates novel treatment for cervical and vaginal cancers
February 17, 2019 - ADHD diagnoses poorly documented
February 17, 2019 - Majority of gender minority youth do not identify with traditional sexual identity labels
February 17, 2019 - AbbVie, Teneobio enter into strategic transaction to develop potential treatment for multiple myeloma
February 17, 2019 - Lower Birth Weight May Up Risk for Psychiatric Disorders
February 17, 2019 - Scientists identify reversible molecular defect underlying rheumatoid arthritis
February 17, 2019 - Moffitt researchers shed light on how CAR T cells function mechanistically
February 16, 2019 - Female Anatomy May Play Big Role in Sperm’s Success
February 16, 2019 - BMI may mediate inverse link between fiber intake, knee OA
February 16, 2019 - Movement impairments in autism can be reversed through behavioral training
February 16, 2019 - Studies address racial disparities in postpartum period and cardiovascular health
February 16, 2019 - Scientists implicate hidden genes in the severity of autism symptoms
February 16, 2019 - Decreased deep sleep linked to early signs of Alzheimer’s disease
February 16, 2019 - Neuroscientists show how the brain responds to texture
February 16, 2019 - Gilead Announces Topline Data From Phase 3 STELLAR-4 Study of Selonsertib in Compensated Cirrhosis (F4) Due to Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)
February 16, 2019 - What Can I Do About Sweating? (for Teens)
February 16, 2019 - Companies navigate dementia conversations with older workers
February 16, 2019 - Newly developed stem cell technologies show promise for treating PD patients
February 16, 2019 - Collaborative material research could advance self-assembling nanomaterials
February 16, 2019 - Researchers take major step in creating technology that mimics the human brain
February 16, 2019 - Erasing memories associated with cocaine use reduces drug seeking behavior
February 16, 2019 - Artificial intelligence can accurately predict prognosis of ovarian cancer patients
February 16, 2019 - Racial disparities in cancer deaths on the decline for America
February 16, 2019 - FDA authorizes new interoperable insulin pump for children, adults with diabetes
February 16, 2019 - Coexisting Medical Conditions, Smoking Explain PTSD-CVD Link
February 16, 2019 - Skin Cancer Screening: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
February 16, 2019 - ‘Happiness’ exercises can boost mood in those recovering from substance use disorder
February 16, 2019 - Cell manipulation could soon halt or reverse aging
February 16, 2019 - Pumped Breast Milk Falls Short of Breastfed Version
February 16, 2019 - Men’s porn habits could fuel partners’ eating disorders, study suggests
February 16, 2019 - Rapid progression of age-related diseases may result from formation of vicious cycles
February 16, 2019 - Immune checkpoint molecule protects against future development of cancer
February 16, 2019 - New method produces hydrogels that have properties similar to cells’ environment
February 16, 2019 - $4.1 million funding for heart research on Valentine’s Day
February 16, 2019 - General anesthesia in early infancy unlikely to have lasting effects on developing brains
February 16, 2019 - New breakthroughs for muscular dystrophy research
February 16, 2019 - First Opinion: Embryo editing for higher IQ is a fantasy. Embryo profiling for it is almost here
February 16, 2019 - Vapers develop cancer-related gene deregulation as cigarette smokers
February 16, 2019 - Bringing Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (AST) to the Community
February 16, 2019 - Decolonization protocol after hospital discharge can prevent dangerous infections
February 16, 2019 - Children with ASD more likely to face maltreatment, study finds
February 16, 2019 - Study finds genetic vulnerability to use of menthol cigarettes
February 16, 2019 - Promising drug developed to rejuvenate muscle cells
February 16, 2019 - H-RT should be the standard of care for men with low risk prostate cancer, study shows
February 16, 2019 - New technique using patients’ own modified cells could help treat Crohn’s disease
February 16, 2019 - Therapeutic endoscopy has an expanding role in the treatment of IBD
February 16, 2019 - Blood clot discovery could lead to development of better treatments for blood diseases
February 16, 2019 - Intervention can increase exclusive breastfeeding rates
February 16, 2019 - New project explores how gaming technologies can help cancer patients communicate better
February 16, 2019 - Catalyst Biosciences Presents Updated Data from Its Phase 2/3 Trial of Subcutaneous Marzeptacog Alfa (Activated) in Individuals with Hemophilia A or B with Inhibitors at the 12th Annual EAHAD Congress
February 16, 2019 - Rerouting nerves during amputation reduces phantom limb pain before it starts
February 16, 2019 - A Hormone Produced When We Exercise Might Help Fight Alzheimer’s
February 16, 2019 - Millions of British people breathe toxic air travelling to GPs
February 16, 2019 - Conformance of genetic characteristics found to be crucial for longer preservation of kidney graft
February 16, 2019 - Researchers use optogenetic tool to control, visualize receptor signals in neural cells
February 16, 2019 - New reversible antiplatelet therapy could reduce risk of blood clots, prevent cancer metastasis
February 16, 2019 - Testosterone is not the only hormone needed for penis development
February 16, 2019 - FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of Spravato (esketamine) Nasal Spray for Adults with Treatment-Resistant Depression
February 15, 2019 - Heart surgery technology developed at Baptist Health debuts after years of secrecy
February 15, 2019 - Prescription Opioids Double Risk of Triggering Fatal Car Crash
February 15, 2019 - New study helps doctors better understand high blood pressure in pregnant women
February 15, 2019 - Beta wave control in Parkinson’s diseased brain could be a potential therapy
February 15, 2019 - Media representations of love may justify gender-based violence in young people
Researchers achieve breakthrough in blood vessel engineering

Researchers achieve breakthrough in blood vessel engineering

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

When someone has a deadly disease or sustains a life-threatening injury, a transplant or graft of new tissue may be the best — or only — treatment option. Transplanted organs, skin grafts and other parts need blood vessels to bring oxygen-rich blood their way, but for tissue engineers and regenerative medicine experts, making a functional blood vessel network within large tissues in the laboratory has long been a major challenge.

Now, a research group at the University of Delaware has pioneered methods to grow a self-assembling, functional network of blood vessels at a size relevant for human use. Jason Gleghorn and his colleagues are the first to make this system work at this scale, and their results were recently published in the journal Biomaterials.

Gleghorn, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Delaware, studies how the embryo builds tissues and organs during development with the goal of using this knowledge to define new regenerative medicine strategies. While other groups have made blood vessel networks that span millimeters in size, the UD system works across centimeter scales, necessary for functional tissue replacement. With more development and refinement, Gleghorn’s microfluidic system could someday be utilized to grow blood vessels for tissue and organ transplantation into humans.

How to build blood vessel networks

The team embedded human blood vessel cells into a gel made of collagen, a protein found in connective tissue such as skin and joints. The goal was to determine the physical conditions necessary to make the cells grow, multiply and connect with each other so that a network of blood vessels assembled itself.

Making blood vessel networks is tricky business because the system doesn’t always behave how investigators expect. During his doctoral training, Gleghorn was part of the first team that developed techniques to create patterned blood vessel networks for tissue engineering using microfluidic techniques.

“As an engineer, we can say we think the cells need to be this far apart or the vessels need to be a certain size and spacing,” Gleghorn said. “We can create a very precise environment and structure for the cells, but the problem is that biology doesn’t work that way. The cells remodel everything. They change shape and size and push and pull on each other and the materials they are embedded in to rearrange our ‘perfect’ home that we think they need. The reality is we need to design systems that will encourage cells to remodel themselves and their environment to generate a functional tissue.”

Instead, Gleghorn’s group asked: “What is the fundamental initial starting point of the system that we need, and then can we kick it in the right direction to get it to evolve and build its own architecture similar to the way your body does it during development?” he said.

For one, using a powerful confocal microscope at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, the group found that the density, or stiffness, of the collagen gel affected how the cells suspended within it behaved, ultimately affecting the size and connectivity of the vessels.

“It looks kind of like the holiday dessert with fruit suspended in Jell-O,” said Gleghorn of the cells in the collagen gel. “You have a bunch of cells randomly distributed throughout the volume of the gel, and if they are sparsely distributed, it gets very hard for them to talk to each other and form connections to form vessels. The languages they use are chemical signals and physical forces.” The key is to find the sweet spot of stiffness, stiff enough so that neighboring cells can interact with the material and each other, but not so stiff that the cells can’t move.

The team also found that by perturbing their system in a specific way, they could affect the size and shape of the vessel networks under assembly.

“From larger vessels to much smaller microvessels, which are really hard to make, we can now tune the vessel network architecture with the initial starting parameters,” said Gleghorn. This means that the new system could have applications from forming larger vessels deep within the body to tiny capillaries, the teeny vessels in your fingertips.

Gleghorn’s team also found that their lab-grown blood vessels were perfusable, suggesting that blood could flow through them without leaking out of the vessels into surrounding gel. The vessel networks can also form throughout a variety of shaped gels, meaning that this system could be useful for building blood vessel networks in tissues with complicated shapes, such as the meniscus cartilage that pads your knees or a large skin graft for burn patients.

In addition to Gleghorn, authors on the new paper include Joshua Morgan, a former postdoctoral scholar at UD who is now an assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside; Jasmine Shirazi, a graduate student in biomedical engineering; Erica Comber, a former undergraduate research assistant who earned an honors degree in biomedical engineering from UD in 2017 and is now pursuing a doctoral degree at Carnegie Mellon University; and Christian Eschenburg, head of R&D at Orthopedic Technology Services GmbH active in Germany, who did research in Gleghorn’s lab as part of the Fraunhofer-UD graduate student exchange program. This work was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, University of Delaware Research Foundation, the Oak Ridge Associated Universities Ralph E. Power Junior Faculty Enhancement Award and the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Award.

Now, Gleghorn’s group is learning even more about how blood vessel networks form so that they can refine their system. With Babatunde Ogunnaike, the William L. Friend Chair of Chemical Engineering, Gleghorn is mapping out mathematical formulas to describe how blood vessels form and remodel in developing chicken embryos in the egg. “Then we plan to take the math and systems engineering and couple it with the biology — the molecules and the signaling pathways — that we know, and apply it to these 3D tissue-engineered models to make more complex hierarchical blood vessel networks” said Gleghorn. That project is supported by an award from the University of Delaware Research Foundation.

Source:

https://www.udel.edu/udaily/2018/november/gleghorn-lab-blood-vessel-network/

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles