Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Drop Goal

Microgel embedded with blood vessel-generating cells enables vessel development

09 September 2021

Drop Goal

Just like we rely on a support network at home as we grow up, our cells need the physical structures and neighbouring cells around them to develop properly. In the lab, this environment can be hard to replicate for scientists aiming to engineer new healthy tissue that could be used to repair injury and treat disease. A new approach uses tiny gel drops formed of short self-assembling protein fragments which gather into a supportive network that can provide growing cells with a suitable foster home (pictured). Researchers embedded blood vessel lining cells on the gel beads and placed these in a larger structure. The cells began to form into blood vessels – a common challenge in tissue engineering – showing that the system safely delivered cells, and pointing to the ultimate goal of encouraging vessel growth in regenerative therapies for everything from long term wounds to diabetic ulcers.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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