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Artificial Blood Vessels Grow On Nano-Template

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the hemo-the-magnificent dept.

Biotech 49

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes "Researchers at MIT have found a way to induce cells to form parallel tube-like structures that could one day lead to tiny engineered blood vessels. The researchers found that they can control the cells' development by growing them on a surface with nano-scale patterning. The work focuses on vascular tissue, which includes capillaries, the tiniest blood vessels. The team has created a surface that can serve as a template to grow capillary tubes aligned in a specific direction. The cells, known as endothelial progenitor cells, not only elongate in the direction of the grooves, but also align themselves along the grooves. That results in a multicellular structure with defined edges — a band structure. Once the band structures form, the researchers apply a commonly used gel that induces cells to form three-dimensional tubes."

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More on this subject.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745840)

Can be found using our friend google. [google.com]

Re:More on this subject.... (1, Interesting)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746608)

Fucking TROLL, why do you do that?

Re:More on this subject.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746636)

It has to be because they seem to lack protection [tinyurl.com]

Re:More on this subject.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746610)

goatse using the "I am lucky" feature through google...just warning you

Tube-like structures (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745842)

Researchers dubbed these tube-like structures the "internets".

Re:Tube-like structures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745862)

In Soviet Cupertino, they are called "iPod".

Re:Tube-like structures (-1, Offtopic)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21748388)

in Soviet Cupertino, iPod owns you!

i know, i know... i just couldn't resist ;)

Re:Tube-like structures (0, Flamebait)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21749702)

And the president using his new counter-terrorism law dubbed I.O.W.N.Y.O.U. enacted a ban on any research on the dangerous internets and their evil series of tubes, because as he said they are full of pornography and therefore a danger to the innocent unborn. The vice president later suggested to use all jobless researchers as forced labour for the new human missions to Alpha Centauri, which are of course relying on the space infrastructure of an otherwise very democratic dictatorship run by a former KGBer. People in the free world over the Atlantic scratch their heads and wonder what their WW2 ally is smoking.

I want a side of nanobots with this, please. (3, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745868)

I wonder how long until we see the creation of nanobots that can actually repair tissue (or construct new sections of it) at the cellular level using the raw materials around them (maybe via introduction of non-toxic "feeder compounds" into the bloodstream).

The better question is: why? (2, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746720)

You know, the funny thing is: the body if anything above the simplest creatures is built to self-tune. The cells have the proteins, and the DNA coding them of course, to (A) give a chemical signals along the lines of, "oi! I need more X down here!", and (B) react to that signal, if apropriate.

So for example, you're not hard-coded to have X millimeter thick muscles, or a certain bone density, or exactly this pattern of capillaries. You're built to react to how much do you need. So if you regularly pull/push at heavy weights, you get to look like Rambo, and if you sit at a computer like most of us here, you get to have just enough muscle to be able to walk.

(And if you feel a need to post something like, "well, I'm a nerd and exercise daily, and look like Rambo, and fuck a super-model", then consider yourself smacked upside your head. I didn't say _everyone_ was like that, did I?;)

This is out of very pragmatical reasons too. If your particular genetic mutations or diet make you heavier, you get to survive by adapting to it. Otherwise any mutation that changed your metabolism, would be _fatal_, if it didn't come together with a mutation that changes your muscle mass. Which is a hell of a lot less probable a coincidence. A gene set that self-regulates is more robust and survivable.

Anyway, what I'm getting at, is that the same applies to capillaries. Cells that lack oxygen give a chemical signal that tells other cells, basically, "Jesus F. Christ, guys, I'm choking in here!" So some other cells' proteins will take that as a hint to fork an existing blood vessel to cater to that group of cells.

(Side-note: I'm talking about proteins because, basically, that's the active molecule in your body. Proteins are a standardized way to build molecules which interact with other molecules. You have a small number of aminoacids which can be chained to interact with whatever other molecule they have to. Or build another molecule that can. Ranging from regulating what can enter your cells, to simple enzymes like breaking fructose or maltose into glucose, to something as complex as a ribosome or DNA repairs. It's not always the most efficient way, but they can be coded in a standardized way.)

So what I'm REALLY getting at is: does this make any sense? Building a bunch of synthetic capillaries, or getting an "oxygen therapy" or whatnot, seems to be just a way to tell (other) cells, basically, "oh, we have all the oxygen we need here, kthxbye." So basically just some other capillaries won't form. Or disappear right back.

Don't get me wrong, though, I'm not flat-out saying that this is useless. I'm sure smarter people than me have figured out a practical use, and they're not posting at 2 AM or after 2 beers either. Just wondering what that use might be. And how are they going to solve the practical problems, like other capillaries not forming any more. I just want to know, that's all.

Re:The better question is: why? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746952)

and if you sit at a computer like most of us here, you get to have just enough muscle to be able to walk
1: Most of us can't walk. We can barely move our fingers enough to get the mouse across the screen on maximum sensitivity. We are tube-fed, sit on toilets, and a few people choose to breath on their own. The gamers among us might be better able to move their entire right arm from the mouse to the keyboard and back if they can't use just one hand to play.

2: The elite among us have perfected EEG-based input, so moving the mouse is no longer even necessary. We can just lie there. (Try playing Halo that way!)

Re:The better question is: why? (2, Informative)

protobion (870000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21747472)

So for example, you're not hard-coded to have X millimeter thick muscles, or a certain bone density, or exactly this pattern of capillaries. You're built to react to how much do you need.


While that may be correct in the sense that there are usually numerous feedbacks that regulate the nature of biological systems, there are several situations when average parameters such as the size of organs or density of tissues are merely a result of stochastic processes settling on some kind of local thermodynamic minima in terms of development.
For example, over-expression of human proteins in plants is possible [bbc.co.uk] . Hardly anyone will argue that the plants need it. They produce it only because the activity does not break the plants system.
More accurately , biology doesn't care what you need. Your particular biology is just one of many possible paths in a molecular or ecological parameter space - one of many paths that includes the organism "existing" for a duration of time that we call normal. Biology is what just works.

Ok, smacked (1)

RationalRoot (746945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21749580)

OK - I consider my self smacked. I laugh quitely to myself at the puny derision of a smack, briefly consider going Rambo on you - but decide it's not worth the trouble, since you probably hurt your virtual hand. And anyway my super models (yes plural) are calling. >;-) (And if you feel a need to post something like, "well, I'm a nerd and exercise daily, and look like Rambo, and fuck a super-model", then consider yourself smacked upside your head. I didn't say _everyone_ was like that, did I?;)

Re:The better question is: why? (2, Funny)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21750286)

I'm sure smarter people than me have figured out a practical use, and they're not posting at 2 AM or after 2 beers either. Just wondering what that use might be.
This is just one small step towards building a real life sex bot!

Better known as a meat bot, the T9000 will do your housework, take the kids to school and give you a foot massage after a long days work without any of that nagging and yelling.

Re:I want a side of nanobots with this, please. (3, Insightful)

anothergradstudent (1205166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21747342)

Just so you know, device biocompatibility (basically ensuring that the body won't freak out when you do something like input nanobots) has been a 50 year issue. There aren't many solutions - at best, current devices get encapsulated in fibrous tissue and attacked with random oxidative chemicals. Your nanobots are likely to get eaten by white blood cells and harmed within low pH peroxisomes.

Just a thought....

Re:I want a side of nanobots with this, please. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21747806)

Thanks for the reply! I knew there were a lot of outstanding issues related to nanotech being used within the human body, but your post is the first detailed reply I've received on the topic. I appreciate it.

I can't wait for the Micheal Crichton thriller (4, Funny)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745884)

It will have a simple title, like Vein , and be about a heroic surgeon who unearths the sinister truth behind a revolutionary new artificial blood vessel replacement technology, and after a long build up in which seemingly fully recovered trauma patients turn into super-powered . . .

. . . well, I'd write more, but there's a screenwriters strike on, and I don't want to come across as a scab.

Re:I can't wait for the Micheal Crichton thriller (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746008)

Don't forget the sequel novels: "Artery", "Hemoglobin", and the final installment in the series, "The Platelet Conspiracy".

Re:I can't wait for the Micheal Crichton thriller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746070)

I don't want to know the ending. They always end up being stupid. These super powered patients would probably end up becoming heroin addicts, which would destroy these blood vessels. Or gorillas with high powered lasers would show up to save the day.

Re:I can't wait for the Micheal Crichton thriller (1)

TimSSG (1068536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746926)

I want the shark with lasers to be the heroes for once. Tim S

Re:I can't wait for the Micheal Crichton thriller (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21751868)

a heroic surgeon who unearths the sinister truth behind a revolutionary new artificial blood vessel replacement technology, and after a long build up in which seemingly fully recovered trauma patients turn into super-powered...

Consumers. Crichton novels always start with the premise of super amazing technology (virtual reality, resurrect dinosaurs, time travel) and use it into selling something mundane (CD-ROM readers, dinosaur theme parks, time travel theme parks). In this case it would probably allow people to become super powered so they'd join the mastermind's gym chain that's all set up with extra-heavy weights and really hard workout machines.

How many more times? (4, Funny)

Cally (10873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745968)

MIT is not in charge of Gundam.

Your sig quotes Geothe... (1)

jovin6 (1134619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746516)

...and yet your write about Gundam. I find you puzzling.

This seems like a natural step... (2, Interesting)

raving griff (1157645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746004)

...towards the creation of biological prosthetics. Master the creation of several types of tissues and we may be able to apply the knowledge to the creation of new arms, legs, and hearts without the time it takes for stem cells to mature into the said appenditures. Additionally, this could lead to new, artificial biological enhancements, such as eyes on the back of our heads, larger, more complex brains, or more articulate toes.

Re:This seems like a natural step... (3, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746234)

So will the anti-abortionists oppose this because the technology could potentially turn anything into a viable human?

Re:This seems like a natural step... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746546)

They are growing humans as we speak... check out this bullshit [tinyurl.com]

Re:This seems like a natural step... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746986)

That's not human.

Re:This seems like a natural step... (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21747716)

Most of us oppose destroying nascient life.

If you create new life, that's generally not a problem (but do double-check with the creationists)!

Re:This seems like a natural step... (2, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21747804)

but do double-check with the creationists
No problem on this end. Proceed.

Re:This seems like a natural step... (1)

anothergradstudent (1205166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21749080)

"The technology" is much, much, less known than you think it is - the reality of this line of work is that no one really has a clue what's going on. Every "tried and true" method of doing anything in biology has its major drawbacks, and so far no combination of techniques has covered all the gaps in knowledge. We've sequenced the human genome - now what? We can make artificial capillaries with weak stability that don't truly resemble anything in the human body, and which many other labs across the world have similarly done; now what? Organic tissue is so much more vastly complicated than a few VEGF-induced differentiated cells in a collagen matrix, and the fact that Slashdot makes this major news shows that most people buy the hype. (By the way, every term in "VEGF-induced differentiated cells in a collagen matrix" is debatable.)

Of course, hype is needed for us researchers to get funding so we can figure this stuff out. But I assure you, unless some major revolutions are made in the way biomedical engineering research is done, we're beating a dead horse that is not going to cough up the real answers.

Re:This seems like a natural step... (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21749716)

> larger, more complex brains

Why ? Most people already don't use the one they have.

Gel... (2, Funny)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746146)

Once the band structures form, the researchers apply a commonly used gel that induces cells to form three-dimensional tubes."
Please tell me the gel is not KY branded. There are enough three-dimensional tubes already formed by that stuff posting on /.

...Myself included.

Re:Gel... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746676)

did you think about this when you included yourself [myminicity.com]

Re:Gel... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21747028)

What on earth is behind this URL? NoScript blocks the entire thing.

Re:Gel... (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21751522)

I refer to my original comment.

=D

Blade Runner (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746154)

One day we'll be able to grow a complete body artificially, including the brain, and only by careful testing will you be able to tell the artificial from the natural born.

Re:Blade Runner (1)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746670)

One day we'll be able to grow a complete body artificially, including the brain, and only by careful testing will you be able to tell the artificial from the natural born.

Only one way to know -- the artificial ones will have DRM to prevent unauthorized copying.

Re:Blade Runner (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21751916)

Maybe a diminished emotional response to stress, in things like heart rate and pupil dilation.

haha (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746230)

you has a small penis!

Carbon + Cell (-1, Troll)

Dr Actual Factual (1205136) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746432)

This is interesting research, especially when combined with carbon nanotubes - Supermen anybody? [tinyurl.com]

Mod Parent Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746602)

I'm fucking sick of those fucking MyMiniCity links.
I wonder if we can reprogram DNA to remove people like you from the genepool

Re:Carbon + Cell (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746712)

They need to add tinyurl, myminicity, and goatse.ca into the spam filter. It's getting ridiculous now.

Re:Carbon + Cell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746860)

I agree... there is only one solution to this madness [myminicity.com]

Great! (1)

softdevs (1203042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746788)

Great Discovery!Kanati Inc. [kanati.com.ph]

Three Dimensional Tube? (2, Insightful)

Arterion (941661) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746832)

Is it possible to have a tube that isn't three dimensional?

Re:Three Dimensional Tube? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#21749774)

I bet you can find some 4-dimensional or higher objects described as tubes.

a bunch of considerations (2, Informative)

anothergradstudent (1205166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21747064)

This is related to my work as a bioengineer, so I feel compelled to comment on it.

This is interesting stuff, basically using PDMS patterning to induce channels through which progenitor cells can be used to induce endothelial cell formation, and then they talk about using Matrigel (a collagen-based gel) with these blood vessels that form, but there are a bunch of "this can't be really used for anything" problems:

1) They used VEGF, which induces blood vessels everywhere you put it. So this is not really novel. There've been a ton of papers showing this. The problem with VEGF is that the vessels formed aren't really stable, and they don't last.

2) Your blood vessels, at least the larger ones, have a lot more structure than what they're indicating. You need smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts to form the rest of the vessel. They haven't done that here.

3) You still haven't really addressed the biocompatibility issue for implantation or any sort of real world implementation.

Robert Langer is considered by many to be a father of bioengineering, but that doesn't mean every paper he does is going to be awesome.

tr0lL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21747518)

Shout the lotudest
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