A research team led by groups from the University of Nottingham and Queen Mary University of London has created an intelligent material that transforms into new blood vessels.
Made with graphene oxide and a protein, the material is 3D printed. It assembles naturally into tubular shapes that look like artificial blood vessels.
In the image above: close-up of a tubular structure made by simultaneous printing and self-assembly between graphene oxide and a protein. Images of the University of Nottingham
"This work offers biofabrication opportunities by enabling 3D bioprinting and self-assembly even at the nanoscale", said Alvaro Mata of the University of Nottingham, one of the leaders of the study.
"We are biofabricating micro-scale capillary-like fluidic structures that are compatible with cells, exhibit physiologically relevant properties and have the ability to resist blood flow."
When graphene oxide and a protein are combined in a controlled way, the two tend to self-assemble into these tubular forms. The researchers were able to create artificial vessels that showed chemical and physical properties in all respects similar to natural blood vessels.
"This research introduces a new method of integrating proteins with graphene oxide by self-assembly. This is done in a way that can be easily integrated with additive manufacturing. The goal is to fabricate biofluidic devices that will allow to replicate key parts of human tissues and organs in the laboratory ", added Dr. Yuanhao Wu, another study manager.
The discovery is of absolute importance. It can lead to a better mechanism for creating (and replacing) even important blood vessels. In combination with i new robots traveling inside the jars can do a lot.
The study has been published in the journal Nature Communications
Street: University of Nottingham