Vascular systems -- i.e., networks of blood vessels -- are like highways for the delivery of nutrients and removal of waste; without them, cells die quickly. The ability to bioengineer new vasculature is a crucial step toward creating new replacement organs such as livers or kidneys from a patient's own cells.
Bioengineers are already working on creating and assembling single layers of cells that have direct access to nutrients and oxygen -- a process known as "bioprinting." But creating a full-fledged array of new vessels remains a major hurdle. Fluidic pressure coursing through these tiny systems … Read more