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MIT works toward engineered blood vessels
Date:12/17/2007

nd structures form, the researchers apply a commonly used gel that induces cells to form three-dimensional tubes. Unlike cells grown on a flat surface, which form a network of capillary tubes extending in random directions, cells grown on the nano-patterned surface form capillaries aligned in the direction chosen by the researchers.

The researchers believe the technique works best with EPCs because they are relatively immature cells. Earlier attempts with other types of cells, including mature epithelial cells, did not produce band structures.

Growing tissue on a patterned surface allows researchers a much greater degree of control over the results than the classic tissue engineering technique of mixing cell types with different growth factors and hoping that a useful type of tissue is produced, said Bettinger.

With this technique, we can take the guesswork out of it, he said.

The next step is to implant capillary tubes grown in the lab into tissues of living animals and try to integrate them into the tissues.


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Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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