The Breakthrough

A way of assembling organic molecules into complex, tubular, tissue-like structures without the use of moulds or techniques like 3D printing has been developed by Researchers at Queen Mary University of London.  Published this week in the journal Nature Chemistry, the study shows how peptide and protein molecules self-assemble upon touching each other to form dynamic tissue at the point at which they meet. As the material assembles itself, it can be easily guided to grow into complex shapes.

The Implications

This discovery could lead to the engineering of tissues like veins, arteries, or even the blood-brain barrier, which would allow scientists to study diseases such as Alzheimer's with a high level of similarity to the real tissue, which is currently impossible. The technique could also contribute to the creation of better implants, complex tissues, or more effective drug screening methods.

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