Researchers demonstrate new approach to overcome tissue engineering challenge
Tissue engineering has opened the door not only for the replacement of biological tissues in the body but also the creation of life-like platforms for disease modeling and drug development.
However, a major limitation of the current approach is the ability to generate functional vascular networks within tissues and organs.
“The system of vessels that transport blood throughout the body is very dense and complex, which makes creating it artificially a real challenge,” says the University of Delaware’s John Slater.
Now, he and several collaborators have demonstrated that constructing functional vascular networks may be as simple as taking a three-dimensional picture and using it as a digital template to guide laser-based degradation of hydrogels — jelly-like polymeric materials that retain a distinct three-dimensional structure…