A combination of microgels supports growth of bone and blood vessel formation
You slip, trip or fall and crack...your bone breaks. The bigger the break, the longer it takes to heal, as bone and blood vessels rebuild. Sometimes a bone graft is needed for complete recovery. However, current engineered bone grafts promote bone formation alone. Researchers now present a scaffold that promotes bone and blood vessel formation – microgels containing proteins that mimic the matrix in which bone cells sit. When human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were added to microgels containing chitosan, gelatin and hydroxyapatite, they attached and matured into bone cells. Next, MSCs were added to microgels containing only gelatin. Fluorescence microscopy revealed MSCs attached (pictured, left), stretched out (right) and matured into networks of endothelial cells, which line blood vessels. Combining the two microgels encouraged and enhanced bone and blood vessel formation. This lays the foundation for creating scaffolds that promote both new bone and blood vessels to heal fractures.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.