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UIUC team designs a bandage that spurs, guides blood vessel growth


Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a bandage that stimulates and directs blood vessel growth on the surface of a wound. The bandage, called a “microvascular stamp,” contains living cells that deliver growth factors to damaged tissues in a defined pattern. After a week, the pattern of the stamp “is written in blood vessels,” the researchers report.

“Living Microvascular Stamp for Patterning of Functional Neovessels; Orchestrated Control of Matrix Property and Geometry”, a paper describing the new approach, appeared in the January 3, 2012 issue of the journal Advanced Materials.

“Any kind of tissue you want to rebuild, including bone, muscle or skin, is highly vascularized,” said University of Illinois chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Hyunjoon Kong, a co-principal investigator on the study with electrical and computer engineering professor Rashid Bashir. “But one of the big challenges in recreating vascular networks is how we can control the growth and spacing of new blood vessels.”

“The ability to pattern functional blood vessels at this scale in living tissue has not been demonstrated before,” Bashir said. “We can now write features in blood vessels.” Read More >>>

A recent article in the Daily Illini discusses an application of this technique: making a tissue bandage for the heart.

Dr. Rashid Bashir and Dr. K. Jimmy Hsia are PIs on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign IGERT: Training the Next Generation of Researchers in Cellular & Molecular Mechanics and Bionanotechnology (CMMB). Dr. Hyunjoon Kong co-advises IGERT CMMB Trainees and was named as a fellow of the UIUC Center for Advanced Study for 2012-2013.