Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New insights on conditions for new blood vessel formation

Date:
July 3, 2014
Source:
University of Pennsylvania
Summary:
With lifesaving applications possible in both inhibiting and accelerating the creation of new blood vessels, a more fundamental understanding of what regulates angiogenesis is needed. Now, researchers have uncovered the existence of a threshold above which fluid flowing through blood vessel walls causes new capillaries to sprout.

A new capillary sprouting off a blood vessel.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Pennsylvania

Angiogenesis, the sprouting of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, is essential to the body's development. As organs grow, vascular networks must grow with them to feed new cells and remove their waste. The same process, however, also plays a critical role in the onset and progression of many cancers, as it allows the rapid growth of tumors.

Related Articles


With lifesaving applications possible in both inhibiting and accelerating the creation of new blood vessels, a more fundamental understanding of what regulates angiogenesis is needed. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University and Harvard University have uncovered the existence of a threshold above which fluid flowing through blood vessel walls causes new capillaries to sprout.

This discovery could help pave the way for cancer-fighting drugs, treatments for the hardened blood vessels found in the cardiovascular disease arthrosclerosis or even growing synthetic organs in the lab.

The research was led by postdoctoral fellow Peter Galie of the Department of Bioengineering in Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science and Christopher Chen, then a professor of bioengineering at Penn who is now at Boston University and an associate faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. They collaborated with Duc-Huy Nguyen, Colin Choi and Daniel Cohen, all members of Chen's lab, and professor Paul Janmey, also of the Department of Bioengineering, as well as the Department of Physiology in Penn's Perelman School of Medicine.

Their study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The team's experiments incorporated "blood-vessel-on-a-chip" devices, which use microfluidic technology to simulate processes that normally occur deep within tissues. They found that cells lining each artificial vessel sprouted to form new vessels once the force exerted by fluid flow through the vessel exceeded a certain threshold.

"These findings suggest that our blood vessels can sense when blood flow exceeds their carrying capacity and respond by producing additional vessels on demand," Chen explained. "Perhaps we could one day take advantage of this response to enhance vessel regrowth where the need is critical, such as after a heart attack."

During their experiments, the researchers controlled the fluid flow within the artificial vessel, and ultimately where new vessels would sprout, by changing the shape and orientation of thin needles deployed within a collagen gel containing each vessel. Using a mathematical model, they predicted the exact spots along the vessel where force exceeded the sprouting threshold, thereby pinpointing the location where new vessels would form.

Now the researchers aim to advance new experiments designed to figure out how cells sense this mechanical threshold.

"The logical next step is to determine the molecular mechanism behind this phenomenon," said Galie, "what proteins are involved and how might they be targeted in new drug therapies."

Their work was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Engineering Cells and Regeneration, where Chen was the founding director.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. A. Galie, D.-H. T. Nguyen, C. K. Choi, D. M. Cohen, P. A. Janmey, C. S. Chen. Fluid shear stress threshold regulates angiogenic sprouting. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014; 111 (22): 7968 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1310842111

Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania. "New insights on conditions for new blood vessel formation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140703103003.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania. (2014, July 3). New insights on conditions for new blood vessel formation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140703103003.htm
University of Pennsylvania. "New insights on conditions for new blood vessel formation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140703103003.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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