Researchers are developing engineered blood vessels to more accurately test medications

A team of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is developing engineered blood vessels that have the characteristics of common cardiac and vascular conditions, such as aneurisms and blockages, to provide a more accurate way to test new medications and speed the development of new treatments for disease. The blood vessels, which will be made from human cells, will more closely model actual diseased blood vessels than existing model systems, the researchers say. The idea is to create better model systems for testing the ability of potential medications to prevent or reverse problems such as heart attacks and strokes. The project is spearheaded by Marsha Rolle, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at WPI in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her current project is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.