Regenerative medicine

Nanofibres foster blood vessels

    Self-assembling nanofibres can help to spur the formation of blood vessels in the hearts of rats and pigs during recovery from experimentally induced heart attacks.

    Researchers led by Patrick Hsieh of National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Tainan, Taiwan, injected protein fragments that self-assemble into nanofibres, and VEGF — a protein that promotes blood-vessel formation — into the animals' injured heart muscle. Whereas VEGF alone conveyed no noticeable benefits, animals that received both nanofibres and VEGF had more arteries and stronger heart performance four weeks after the simulated heart attacks. The nanofibres, which degrade slowly over time, seem to function as a scaffold that retains and recruits restorative cells.

    Sci. Transl. Med. 4, 146ra109 (2012)

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    Nanofibres foster blood vessels. Nature 488, 257 (2012).

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