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Biotech Science

Artificial Blood Vessels Grow On Nano-Template 49

Posted by kdawson
from the hemo-the-magnificent dept.
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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Artificial Blood Vessels Grow On Nano-Template

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @07:19PM (#21745842)
    Researchers dubbed these tube-like structures the "internets".
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by wikinerd (809585)
      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
  • 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).

    • 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
      • by calebt3 (1098475)

        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: (Score:2, Informative)

        by protobion (870000)

        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 a

      • 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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by LingNoi (1066278)

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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....
      • 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.

  • by StefanJ (88986) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @07:24PM (#21745884) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • Don't forget the sequel novels: "Artery", "Hemoglobin", and the final installment in the series, "The Platelet Conspiracy".

    • 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 peop
  • by Cally (10873) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @07:32PM (#21745968) Homepage
    MIT is not in charge of Gundam.
  • ...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.
    • by the_humeister (922869) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @07:54PM (#21746234)
      So will the anti-abortionists oppose this because the technology could potentially turn anything into a viable human?
      • by megaditto (982598)
        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)!
      • "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 hav
    • by vegiVamp (518171)
      > larger, more complex brains

      Why ? Most people already don't use the one they have.
  • Gel... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Bobfrankly1 (1043848)

    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.
  • 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.

    • 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.

  • Great Discovery!Kanati Inc. [kanati.com.ph]
  • Is it possible to have a tube that isn't three dimensional?
  • 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
  • Better URL (Score:2, Informative)

    I don't know what the deal is with this story linking to 'Eurekalerts', but here's the link to the press release on MIT's news office's site:

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/vascular-1217.html [mit.edu]

    Greg

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