Researchers Develop Novel Approach to Grow Blood Vessels

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The researchers from Texas A&M University developed new method to assist with the formation of blood vessels with a clay-based platform.

Angiogenesis is one of the major clinical challenges in wound healing and tissue implants. The process deals with formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels in the body. Now, researchers from Texas A&M University delivered therapeutic proteins for formation of blood vessels with a clay-based platform. The research led by Dr. Akhilesh K. Gaharwar with members of the Inspired Nanomaterials and Tissue Engineering Lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, developed the novel technology that introduces, nanosilicates –a new type of two-dimensional clay—to deliver multiple specialized proteins called growth factors into the body. These growth factors are responsible for stimulating formation of new blood vessels in the body. The clay is designed to prolong the release of proteins that allow blood vessels more time for formation. This ability of the clay is attributed to its high surface area and charged characteristics. Similar to tiny weak magnets in polymeric hydrogels, the clay nanoparticles define the growth factors within the proteins. Problems caused due to high doses, such as abrupt tissue formation can be avoided through such sustained and prolonged release of physiologically relevant doses of growth factors.

Moreover, abnormal growth and moderating activity of surrounding cells is prevented as the clay maintains the organization of the growth factors. The researchers stated that a significant impact on designing the next generation of bioactive scaffolds and implants can be made by establishing clay nanoparticles as a platform technology for delivering the growth factors. The research funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health, the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems of the National Institute of Science, and by the National Science Foundation, was published in Advanced Biosystems on 11 June, 2018.

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