Cardiovascular disease is one of the most serious diseases threatening human beings in the world, and its mechanism of action is complex. The current research based on animal experiments and plane cell experiments is far from the human environment. If a vascular model can be constructed in vitro that can simulate the vascular environment in vivo, chemical stimulation and mechanical stimulation on this model will provide an efficient tool for the study of cardiovascular disease mechanism.
The construction of vascular structures in vitro based on biological printing has always been a research focus in the field of tissue engineering. Common methods mainly include direct printing of tubular structures and construction of flow channel networks in gel structures. Although the vascular models produced by these methods can simulate the function of real blood vessels to a certain extent, they can’t meet the requirements of chemical loading and mechanical loading at the same time, so they cannot be used to build a platform for simulating vascular environment in vitro, and are therefore difficult to study the mechanism of vascular diseases.
Recently, Ali Khademhosseini, a professor of bioengineering specializing in tissue engineering and bioprinting at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his team developed a new and innovative technology for bioprinting to simulate the tubular structure of complex vascular networks and pipelines. This groundbreaking study was recently published in the journal Advanced Materials and can be used for tissue bioprinting in implants or drug testing.
The project is supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and is being carried out in cooperation with researchers from Harvard University and Brigham Women’s Hospital. The next step is the biological printing work before Khademhosseini, who developed a customized multi-material biological printer for the production of complex artificial tissues.
Although there are many efforts in the biomedical field to integrate blood vessels into bioprinted tissues, few people have successfully matched the complexity and variability of natural blood vessel networks. It is reported that the latest method proposed by the joint research team is closer than ever to imitating a complex vascular network.