More Chemical Programming of Tissue Growth

In previous posts (1,2)  I’ve talked about how biological Cells can be reprogrammed to switch roles using clever chemistry, specifically RNA.

In this article they talk about a new development that allows researchers to program the body to grow a blood system at a specific place on demand!

They began by wrapping their chemical instructions,RGD peptide with a shutdown chaser molecule, in a coating of HydroGel. That coating can be removed with exposure to UV light but until it is the peptide payload is hidden from the environment. They were able to embed this under the skin and turn it on at a later date by shining UV light on that area of the skin. This peptide signals cells to stick to and grow on new tissues and they could see this happened in their test sites. The body quickly began to wrap the area in scar tissue.

Augmenting this arrangement “impregnated with a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor that stimulates the growth of new blood vessels” allowed them to induce the body to grow the blood vessels necessary to extend the blood supply to the area they wanted.

What this does it help in boosting the success of transplanting lab-grown tissue into a body. The new tissue needs a blood supply to survive and this technique holds promise that the body can be induced to build that needed infrastructure. On demand.

And another thing they noticed was that while they could activate this embedded system shortly after implantation or weeks later with no perceived lessened response, the immune response to this imported test material lessened if they waited a while. So there’s hope that down the road this will not be such a problem and integrating implants with the body whole will become almost routine.

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