An emerging and revolutionary treatment for vascular diseases based on cell therapy for vascular regeneration could provide long-term solutions by delivering stem or progenitor cells to the impaired tissues or blood vessels, potentially repairing them or forming new ones. Studies focusing on human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), i.e. human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), have provided insight into the potential of these cells for vascular regeneration and helped identify key molecular events involved in vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Polymeric hydrogel have been utilized as a tunable matrix to study vascular network morphogenesis. We will focus our work on hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels, due to the ability to encapsulate cells and provide a biomimetic environment. We hypothesize that HA hydrogels can be employed to provide critical cues that stimulate tube formation and microvascular network assembly from vascular derivatives of hPSCs, and that such microvasculature can be rapidly incorporated into local vascular microchannels and invest local parenchymal cell populations with functional nutrient networks.
The specific aims are: (1) To Derive Functional ECs and v-SMCs from hiPSCs, (2) To Study Responsive HA Hydrogels for Vascular Morphogenesis, and (3) To Analyze Vascular Network Functionality using an In Ovo Angiogenesis Model
An emerging and revolutionary treatment for vascular diseases based on cell therapy for vascular regeneration could provide long-term solutions by delivering stem or progenitor cells to the impaired tissues or blood vessels, potentially repairing them or forming new ones. We will utilize polymeric hydrogel as a three-dimensional milieu to generate microvasculature bed from human pluripotent stem cells. Our study will provide a profound analysis of 3D human vascular network formation and functionality, and overall relevance of these vascular networks in future clinical applications.
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