Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Team Reports Source Of Human Cells For Engineered Blood Vessels

Date:
April 3, 2002
Source:
Masssachusetts Institute Of Technology
Summary:
MIT researchers and colleagues have found a potentially unlimited source of human cells that could in turn be used to grow engineered blood vessels for the treatment of heart disease and related problems. For the first time, the researchers showed that human embryonic stem cells can develop into the endothelial cells that blood vessels are composed of.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- MIT researchers and colleagues have found a potentially unlimited source of human cells that could in turn be used to grow engineered blood vessels for the treatment of heart disease and related problems.

Related Articles


For the first time, the researchers showed that human embryonic stem cells can develop into the endothelial cells that blood vessels are composed of. They then isolated these endothelial cells and showed that they do indeed form vessel-like structures both in a culture dish and in a living animal.

The work was announced March 26 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Blood vessels derived from stem cells could ultimately replace vessels transplanted from one part of the body to another, the current technique used in many operations," said Robert Langer, the Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and an author of the paper.

"This is the very, very first step toward using embryonic stem cells as a source of endothelial cells for tissue engineering," said Shulamit Levenberg, first author of the paper and a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Her coauthors from MIT are Justin S. Golub, a visiting student when he collaborated on the work, and Langer; they were joined by Drs. Michal Amit and Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor of The Technion in Israel.

Human embryonic stem cells have the potential to differentiate into a variety of specialized cells. As a result, they "may be useful as a source of cells for transplantation or tissue engineering," the team writes. That source of cells could also be potentially unlimited because researchers can then grow the cells in quantity in the lab.

However, researchers have found it difficult to isolate cells of a specific type and characterize them. This has been done with nerve cells (using techniques different from those in the current work), but until now other cell types have resisted such manipulation.

The MIT technique, however, turned out to be "relatively simple," the researchers report in PNAS. They were able to "obtain a pure culture of endothelial cells from human embryonic stem cells" that "allowed us to culture large numbers of human embryonic endothelial cells that can be grown in culture without losing endothelial characteristics."

The technique first involved placing the embryonic stem cells in suspension where they formed "embryoid bodies," or aggregates of cells. There they start differentiating into various cell types.

By analyzing these aggregates for genes specific to endothelial cells, "We found that some really did differentiate into endothelial cells," said Levenberg. The team then isolated the endothelial cells from the mixture of all embryoid bodies, grew them on tissue-culture plates, and checked characteristics such as whether they formed tube-like structures to determine if they met the definition of endothelial cells.

After a thumbs-up for that test, the team proceeded to see if the cells might have therapeutic potential. "We wanted to see if they would form vessel-like structures in a living animal," Levenberg said.

So in a technique pioneered by Langer, they "seeded" the cells on tiny biodegradable plastic scaffolds that provide a structure for them to grow on and implanted them in mice with suppressed immune systems (to prevent rejection).

When the scaffolds were removed a few weeks later, the cells had indeed formed vessel-like structures. The team even saw some mice blood cells in the structures, indicating that they were "becoming functional blood-carrying microvessels."

In conclusion, the researchers write, "this study indicates that human embryonic stem cells ... can spontaneously differentiate into the endothelial lineage, ultimately forming vascular structures."

The work was supported by unrestricted gifts to the Langer laboratory and by the European Molecular Biology Organization.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Masssachusetts Institute Of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Masssachusetts Institute Of Technology. "Team Reports Source Of Human Cells For Engineered Blood Vessels." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 April 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020402073511.htm>.
Masssachusetts Institute Of Technology. (2002, April 3). Team Reports Source Of Human Cells For Engineered Blood Vessels. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020402073511.htm
Masssachusetts Institute Of Technology. "Team Reports Source Of Human Cells For Engineered Blood Vessels." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020402073511.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins