The team, led by Brown professor Jeffrey Morgan, successfully used clusters of cells grown in a 3-D Petri dish also invented by the group, in order to build microtissues of more complex shapes.
Such a finding, detailed in the March 1 issue of Biotechnology and Bioengineering and posted at the end of January on the journal’s Web site, has enormous implications for basic cell biology, drug discovery and tissue research, Morgan said.
Because the tissues Morgan’s team created in the lab are more like natural tissue, they can be constructed to have complex lace-like patterns similar to a vasculature, the arrangement of blood vessels in the body or in an organ. Morgan said that added complexity could eventually reduce the need to use animals in certain kinds of research. The National Science Foundation and the International Foundation for Ethical Research funded the study, with the latter group’s mission focused in part on reducing the use of animals in research.
“There is a need for … tissue models that more closely mimic natural tissue already inside the body in terms of function and architecture,” said Morgan, a Brown professor of medical science and engineering. “This shows we can control the size, shape and position of cells within these 3-D structures.”
But Morgan said the finding also makes an important contribution to the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
“We think this is one step toward using building blocks to build complex-shaped tissues that might one day be transplanted,” he said.
The new finding builds on earlier work by Morgan and a team of Brown students, which appeared in September 2007 in the journal Tissue Engineering. The earlier study highlighted the invention of a 3-D Petri dish about the size of a peanut-butter cup and made of agarose, a complex carbohydrate derived from seaweed with the consistency of Jell-O. Morgan and students in his lab developed the dish, creating a product where cells do not stick to the surface. Instead, the cells self-assemble naturally and form “microtissues.”
For the new research, Morgan, with students including Adam Rago and Dylan Dean, made 3-D microtissues in one 3-D Petri dish, harvested these living building blocks and then added them to more complex 3-D molds shaped either like a honeycomb, with holes, or a donut with a hole in the middle.
Those skin cells fused with liver cells in the more complex molds and formed even larger microstructures. Researchers found that the molds helped control the shape of the final microtissue.
They also found that they could control the rate of fusion of the cells by aging them for a longer or shorter time before they were harvested. The longer the wait, Morgan found, the slower the process.
Rago has since graduated from Brown, and Dean, an M.D.-Ph.D. student, has moved on from the Morgan lab to pursue his surgical rotations.
Mark Hollmer | EurekAlert!
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy