Note in Science page
Created Jan 13 11, Updated Jan 14 11 01:21
Blood vessels for lab-grown tissues go to comments

The inability to grow blood vessel networks is the bigest problem in regenerative medicine today as without blood supply, you cannot make a large tissue structure (thicker than a couple hundred microns)!

capillary network (credit: Image courtesy of Rice University, taken from

To mimic the body’s extracellular matrix, where blood vessels could grow, researchers from Rice University and other Texas Medical Center institutions, used modified polyethylene glycol (PEG) gel, 3D engraved by “two-photon lithography” – an ultrasensitive way of using light to create intricate three-dimensional patterns within the soft PEG hydrogels – infused with living cells and growth factors to grow blood capillaries throughout the gel matrix.
Doing so they have broken one of the major roadblocks on the path to growing transplantable tissue in the lab!

To test these new vascular networks, the researchers implanted the gels into the corneas of mice (where no natural vasculature exists). After injecting a tracing dye into the mice’s bloodstream, the researchers could confirm normal blood flow in the newly grown capillaries.

A major development! The first step in real tissue / organ engineering!?...

RiceUniversity video announce article
sciencedaily article
Acta Biomaterialia original paper

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