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WORCESTER, Mass. — In the field of tissue engineering, many scientists grow cells in sheets, or use an artificial scaffold to give shape and structure to the cells. But Marsha Rolle, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and some colleagues are developing a more modular approach, in a process she compares to both building blocks and baking pans.

Rolle chose this approach to build both a more accurate model of healthy blood vessels as well as damaged ones, hoping to learn more about cardiovascular diseases and whether drugs will effectively treat them.


“We usually make normal blood vessels,” she said. “Now we have to figure out how to trick the cells into becoming not normal.”

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