Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


MIT works toward engineered blood vessels

Tissue could be used in human body

MIT scientists have found a way to induce cells to form parallel tube-like structures that could one day serve as tiny engineered blood vessels.

The researchers found that they can control the cells' development by growing them on a surface with nano-scale patterning. A paper on the work was posted this month in an online issue of Advanced Materials.

Engineered blood vessels could one day be transplanted into tissues such as the kidneys, liver, heart or any other organs that require large amounts of vascular tissue, which moves nutrients, gases and waste to and from cells.

... more about:
»Researchers »Vessels »blood »blood vessel »grooves »type

"We are very excited about this work,” said Robert Langer, MIT Institute Professor and an author of the paper. “It provides a new way to create nano-based systems with what we hope will provide a novel way to someday engineer tissues in the human body.”

The work focuses on vascular tissue, which includes capillaries, the tiniest blood vessels, and is an important part of the circulatory system. The team has created a surface that can serve as a template to grow capillary tubes aligned in a specific direction.

The researchers built their template using microfabrication machinery at Draper Laboratory in Cambridge. Normally such technology is used to build micro-scale devices, but the researchers adapted it to create nano-scale patterns on a silicone elastomer substrate. The surface is patterned with ridges and grooves that guide the cells'


“The cells can sense (the patterns), and they end up elongated in the direction of those grooves,” said Christopher Bettinger, MIT graduate student in materials science and engineering and lead author of the paper.

The cells, known as endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), not only elongate in the direction of the grooves, but also align themselves along the grooves. That results in a multicellular structure with defined edges, also called a band structure.

Once the band 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.

Other authors of the paper are Jeffrey Borenstein, director of the Biomedical Engineering Center at Draper Laboratory; Zhitong Zhang, an MIT senior in the Department of Chemical Engineering; and Sharon Gerecht of Johns Hopkins University.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, Draper Laboratory and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Elizabeth A. Thomson | MIT News Office
Further information:

Further reports about: Researchers Vessels blood blood vessel grooves type

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>