Advance could solve major challenge in tissue engineering
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have successfully induced the growth of new networks of functional blood vessels in mice. In the March 11 issue of Nature, the team from the Steele Laboratory in the MGH Department of Radiation Therapy describes how their technique led to the growth of long-lasting blood vessels without the need for genetic manipulation. The accomplishment may help solve one of the primary challenges in tissue engineering: providing a blood supply for newly grown organs.
"The biggest challenge has been making blood vessels that will last," says Rakesh Jain, PhD, director of the Steele Laboratory and senior author of the Nature report. "Most artificially grown vessels die quickly, but these have survived successfully for a year – which is about half a lifetime for mice." He and his colleagues also note that the introduction of genes to induce vessel growth and survival could increase the risk of cancer.
The research team began with two types of blood-vessel-related human cells – endothelial cells that form the lining of blood vessels, taken from the veins of umbilical cords, and precursors to the perivascular cells that form the supporting outer layer of blood vessels. These cells were placed into a collagen gel and grown in culture for about a day. Then the gels were implanted into cranial windows, transparent compartments placed on the brains of mice. Similar gels containing only endothelial cells were also prepared and implanted.
Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
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22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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