"Our results show that bone marrow is an excellent source of adult stem cells containing smooth muscle and endothelial cells, and that these stem cells can be used in regenerative medicine for cardiovascular applications," said Stelios T. Andreadis, Ph.D., associate professor in the UB Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Andreadis co-authored the paper, published recently in Cardiovascular Research, with Jin Yu Liu, Ph.D., lead author and a post doctoral researcher in Andreadis' lab.
The research demonstrates the potential for eventually growing tissue-engineered vessels out of stem cells harvested from the patients who need them, providing a desirable alternative to the venous grafts now routinely done in patients undergoing coronary bypass operations.
Disadvantages with venous grafts include limited availability of vessels, pain and discomfort at the donor site and a high 10-year failure rate.
The UB researchers developed a novel method for isolating functional smooth muscle cells from bone marrow by using a fluorescent marker protein and a tissue-specific promoter for alpha-actin, a protein found in muscles that is responsible for their ability to contract and relax.
Although not yet strong enough for coronary applications, the UB group's tissue-engineered vessels (TEVs) performed similarly to native tissue in critical ways, including their morphology, their expression of several smooth muscle cell proteins, the ability to proliferate and the ability to contract in response to vasoconstrictors, one of the most important properties of blood vessels.
The TEVs also produced both collagen and elastin, which give connective tissue their strength and elasticity and are critical to the functioning of artificial blood vessels.
"These are the first tissue-engineered vessels to demonstrate the ability to make elastin in vivo," said Andreadis.
In addition, the smooth muscle cells isolated from the bone marrow are mesenchymal cells, that is, stem cells that can differentiate into several cell types.
Several studies have shown that mesenchymal stem cells may be immunoprivileged, which means they will not trigger an immune reaction when transplanted into another individual, Andreadis said.
"If true, this means that you may be able to develop a universal cell source for smooth muscle cells, so that you could potentially make these vessels into an 'off-the-shelf' product, available to any patient," Andreadis said.
The TEVs were implanted into sheep and functioned normally for five weeks.
Andreadis' group now is working on ways to make the TEVs stronger. It also is studying the differences between stem cells taken from older versus younger individuals, work that is being funded by the John R. Oishei Foundation.
Co-authors on the paper with Andreadis and J.Y. Liu include Daniel D. Swartz, Ph.D., research assistant professor at Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo; Sylvia F. Gugino, UB senior research support specialist; James A. Russell, Ph.D., in the UB Department of Physiology and Biophysics; and Hao Fan Peng, graduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
Funding for the current work came from UB's Integrative Research and Creative Activities Fund in the UB Office of the Vice President for Research.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 27,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.
Ellen Goldbaum | EurekAlert!
Cells communicate in a dynamic code
19.02.2018 | California Institute of Technology
Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences