Posted on Aug 05, 2013, 6 a.m.
Bioengineered hydrogels are capable of forming synthetic scaffolds that support the formation of replacement tissues and organs.
A critical key to regenerative medicine is the ability to improve blood supply to engineered replacement tissues and organs. Saniya Al, from Rice University (Texas, USA), and colleagues have 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 team transplanted hydrogels functionalized with laminin-derived peptides into a mouse cornea and showed it to successfully support cell growth and blood vessel formation. The study authors submit that: “Results of this study illustrate the use of laminin-derived peptides as potential candidates for modification of biomaterials to support angiogenesis.”
Saniya Ali, Jennifer E. Saik, Dan J. Gould, Mary E. Dickinson, Jennifer L. West. “Immobilization of Cell-Adhesive Laminin Peptides in Degradable PEGDA Hydrogels Influences Endothelial Cell Tubulogenesis.” BioResearch Open Access, June 2013.