Image of the Day: Biomimetic Arteries

A newly engineered synthetic blood vessel offers a novel platform for developing drugs that treat high blood pressure.

Amy Schleunes
Amy Schleunes
Apr 6, 2020
A 3D representation of a biomimetic tube with endothelial cells (green), smooth muscle cells (red), and nuclei (white)
QIANRU JIN

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have created biomimetic microvessels that model the small muscular pulmonary arteries implicated in hypertension, according to a study published on March 25 in Science Advances. The authors report in the paper that these bioengineered arteries closely replicate the patterns and layering of human smooth muscle cells, extracellular matrix, and endothelial cells, improving upon animal models that are unable to recreate human physiology, structure, and function.  

This potential testing model for hypertension drugs marks an “important step toward an in vitro platform for the study of vascular wall biology and arteriolar fluid mechanics in an anatomically correct and human tissue,” the researchers write in their conclusion, and may be applicable to other diseases, such as stroke and diabetes, that also involve pathologies at the microvascular level.

Q. Jin et al., “Biomimetic human small muscular pulmonary arteries,” Science Advances, doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaz2598, 2020.