Method to Improve Blood Supply to Engineered Replacement Tissues
Reported in Bioresearch Open Access
Next-generation hydrogels can form synthetic scaffolds to support the formation of replacement tissues and organs in the emerging area of regenerative medicine. Embedding peptides into the hydrogels stimulates the growth of essential microvascular networks to ensure a good blood supply. Novel, cutting-edge technology in which hydrogels functionalized with laminin-derived peptides were transplanted in a mouse cornea and were shown to support cell growth and blood vessel formation is described in an article in BioResearch Open Access, a peer-reviewed open access journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers . The article is available free on the BioResarch Open Access website .
Saniya Ali and coauthors from Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, and Duke University, Durham, NC, created a biodegradable hydrogel-based scaffold containing laminins. These peptides are key components of cells' extracellular matrix and play a critical role in the attachment, movement, and organization of endothelial cells, which form the lining of tubules such as blood vessels. Stimulating and controlling the formation and growth of these tubule-like, cell-lined structures is essential for ensuring sufficient blood supply to support large complex tissues or organs. The authors present their work and the results of animal studies in the article "Immobilization of Cell-Adhesive Laminin Peptides in Degradable PEGDA Hydrogels Influences Endothelial Cell Tubulogenesis." 
"Enhancing vascularization in synthetic scaffolds is essential to support the formation of blood vessels in engineered tissues," says BioResearch Open Access Editor Jane Taylor, PhD, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. "The work in this study demonstrates that laminin-derived peptide sequences immobilized in synthetic scaffolds can be used to regulate the formation of microvasculature in tissue-engineered constructs."