Creating blood vessels on demand

April 03, 2019

When organs or tissues are damaged, new blood vessels must form as they play a vital role in bringing nutrients and eliminating waste. This is the only way for organs and tissues to resume their normal function. At present, the injection of growth factors or genetic material into the tissue site of interest can trigger angiogenesis, i.e. the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. In a study published in the journal Advanced Materials, scientists from the Universities of Freiburg and Basel led by Prof. Dr. Prasad Shastri show that stable angiogenesis can be achieved by simple hydrogel injection. Due to its mechanical properties, this hydrogel resembles a blood clot.

The cells that organize into blood vessels need support from other cells for stability and blood flow regulation. The Freiburg researchers and the biomedical scientists Dr. Roberto Gianni-Barrera and Dr. Andrea Banfi from the University of Basel discovered a new population of cells of the immune system that circulate in the blood, the CD11b+ monocytes that produce the protein Piezo-1. This is one of the so-called mechanoreceptors that are necessary for the interaction of cells in the central nervous system, as Shastri found out in an earlier study. The scientists were also able to clarify the role of the cell population of CD11b+ monocytes in the stabilization of newly formed blood vessels. On the basis of these results, they have developed a hydrogel which, due to its mechanical properties, is able to stimulate the CD11b+ monocytes to form piezo-1 so that new blood vessels develop at the desired site.

"Our study represents a paradigm shift, as it shows for the first time that a mechanically defined microenvironment is capable of recruiting a specific population of mechanosensing cells that can aid in a regenerative process," says Shastri. The results had an effect on the treatment of peripheral vascular diseases, explains co-author Dr. Melika Sarem. "The hydrogel is a simple means to induce new and healthy vascular systems in a target tissue," adds Dr. Aurelien Forget, who co-led the study at the University of Freiburg.
-end-
Prasad Shastri is Professor of Biofunctional Macromolecular Chemistry at the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry and Professor of Cell Signalling Environments in the Excellence Cluster BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies and at the University of Freiburg.

University of Freiburg

Related Blood Vessels Articles from Brightsurf:

Biofriendly protocells pump up blood vessels
In a new study published today in Nature Chemistry, Professor Stephen Mann and Dr Mei Li from Bristol's School of Chemistry, together with Associate Professor Jianbo Liu and colleagues at Hunan University and Central South University in China, prepared synthetic protocells coated in red blood cell fragments for use as nitric oxide generating bio-bots within blood vessels.

Specific and rapid expansion of blood vessels
Upon a heart infarct or stroke, rapid restoration of blood flow, and oxygen delivery to the hypo perfused regions is of eminent importance to prevent further damage to heart or brain.

Flexible and biodegradable electronic blood vessels
Researchers in China and Switzerland have developed electronic blood vessels that can be actively tuned to address subtle changes in the body after implantation.

Lumpy proteins stiffen blood vessels of the brain
Deposits of a protein called ''Medin'', which manifest in virtually all older adults, reduce the elasticity of blood vessels during aging and hence may be a risk factor for vascular dementia.

Cancer cells take over blood vessels to spread
In laboratory studies, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins University researchers observed a key step in how cancer cells may spread from a primary tumor to a distant site within the body, a process known as metastasis.

Novel function of platelets in tumor blood vessels found
Scientists at Uppsala University have discovered a hitherto unknown function of blood platelets in cancer.

Blood vessels can make you fat, and yet fit
IBS scientists have reported Angiopoietin-2 (Angpt2) as a key driver that inhibits the accumulation of potbellies by enabling the proper transport of fatty acid into general circulation in blood vessels, thus preventing insulin resistance.

Brothers in arms: The brain and its blood vessels
The brain and its surrounding blood vessels exist in a close relationship.

Feeling the pressure: How blood vessels sense their environment
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba discovered that Thbs1 is a key extracellular mediator of mechanotransduction upon mechanical stress.

Human textiles to repair blood vessels
As the leading cause of mortality worldwide, cardiovascular diseases claim over 17 million lives each year, according to World Health Organization estimates.

Read More: Blood Vessels News and Blood Vessels Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.