U.S. develops a "hydrogel" that promotes blood vessel growth

Release date: 2010-01-11

Research by the Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States has shown that the use of a synthetic polymer called "hydrogels" can induce the growth of blood vessels in damaged tissues. According to author Andrés García, the study shows that artificial biomaterials can be used to promote blood vessel growth and remodeling. Since this hydrogel is biocompatible, it can be used for the treatment of various diseases such as peripheral arterial disease and ischemic heart disease. The study was published in the December 21 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to reports, the biochemical and mechanical properties of this polyethylene glycol-based hydrogel matrix allow blood vessels to grow inside and around it. First, the researchers cross-linked and integrated a specific chemical into the gel to maintain its structural integrity, which was only degraded by matrix metalloproteinases.

The researchers then integrated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) into the matrix, which promotes vascular growth. In addition, they added a class of viscous amino acid sequences to the gel to enable the cells to disperse in the gel and interact with nearby vascular endothelial cells. The researchers implanted this unformed hydrogel into the animal's body. The VEGF levels remained constant in the hydrogel two days before the test, and the VEGF gradually decreased over the next 12 days. When the animals were injected with soluble VEGF, the VEGF in the body showed a steady decline, and 90% of the VEGF disappeared within two weeks. (Kexun)

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