Novel 3D-bioprinted blood vessels could be the cure for cardiovascular diseases
Researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital have improved 3D bioprinting of vascular tissues with functional and mechanical signatures to address these problems. The results have recently been published today in Science Advances.
How did they manage?
The team formed a double-network hydrogel bioink that can print conduits in living tissue by utilizing the crosslinking capabilities of natural polymers. In addition to robust vasoconstriction, vasodilation, perfusability, and barrier performance comparable to native vasculature, these conduits also exhibited other important physiological traits of blood vessels.
The researchers also demonstrated the potential for using these vessels for SARS-CoV-2 pseudo-viral testing in conjunction with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The vessels we have printed truly mimic a lot of the mechanics of native vessels,” said senior corresponding author, Y. Shrike Zhang, Ph.D., of the Division of Engineering in Medicine.
“This research demonstrates the potential for such conduits to serve as vascular models for grafts in vascular surgeries, other disease studies, and broad biomedical applications.”
The other co-corresponding authors included Xuanhe Zhao, Ph.D., of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, and C. Keith Ozaki, MD, of the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the Brigham.
One person dies in the US every 34 seconds
According to CDC, one person dies from cardiovascular disease every 34 seconds in the US. Also, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both sexes and for members of the majority of racial and ethnic groups.
American College of Cardiology also suggests that poor lifestyle behaviors are the biggest cause of death and disability in the United States. Factors like smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and poor diet have a major impact on cardiovascular risk.