Vascularization of ischemic tissues can be promoted by T cells. The cells can now be activated by a newly developed biomaterial which has been developed by Harvard’s Wyss Institute’s researchers. Post ischemia, there can be increase in perfusion, new muscle growth and local blood vessel development as a result of the new material; as per the demonstration by the researchers’ study.
Ischemia affected tissues have been subjected to lots of new methods using various compounds to improve angiogenesis. However, not one has shown any success. This process may find immense support through one’s own immune system drawing the interest of scientists. One of their type of biomaterials that can modulate the local immune system to encourage the formation of new blood vessels have thus been developed by the Wyss researchers.
Hindlimb ischemia, a model of peripheral artery disease suffering mice were used to test the technology on by the team of scientists. The results included greater blood perfusion, less tissue death and in two week, more regenerated muscle fibers in their limbs. These results were not to be seen in the mice that had not undergone the treatment. When the T cell population was eliminated by the researchers, the occurrence of the advantages stopped thus validating the fact that T cells played the actual role in the treatment.
The senior author of the study, David Mooney shared their excitement regarding this proof- of- concept study as the premise that biomaterials can manipulate the T cells to improve regeneration of damaged tissue is validated by this study. Wyss Institute’s Founding Director, Donald Ingber said that the immune system’s role in the health and diseases in human beings is a matter of great study in this generation, and this work exemplifies how disruptive medical breakthroughs can occur with the bioinspired materials’ approach to reengineer the immune system.
Nancy Lojas has a Pharmaceutical background. She is pursuing a Masters Degree from the University of Toronto and loves to write about research, discoveries & trends in the Healthcare sector.