Rameshwar R. Rao

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Co-cultures of endothelial cells (EC) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in three-dimensional (3D) protein hydrogels can be used to recapitulate aspects of vasculogenesis in vitro. MSC provide paracrine signals that stimulate EC to form vessel-like structures, which mature as the MSC transition to the role of mural cells. In this study, vessel-like network(More)
As tissue engineering products move toward the clinic, nondestructive methods to monitor their development and ensure quality are needed. In this study, high-resolution spectral ultrasound imaging (SUSI) was used to noninvasively characterize mineral content in collagen hydrogels. SUSI was used to generate three-dimensional (3D) grayscale (GS) images of(More)
Microencapsulation and delivery of stem cells in biomaterials is a promising approach to repairing damaged tissue in a minimally invasive manner. An appropriate biomaterial niche can protect the embedded cells from the challenging environment in the host tissue, while also directing stem cell differentiation toward the desired lineage. In this study, adult(More)
This review summarizes recent efforts to create vascularized bone tissue in vitro and in vivo through the use of cell-based therapy approaches. The treatment of large and recalcitrant bone wounds is a serious clinical problem, and in the United States approximately 10% of all fractures are complicated by delayed union or non-union. Treatment approaches with(More)
Cellular signaling via epidermal growth factor (EGF) and EGF-like ligands can determine cell fate and behavior. Osteoblasts, which are responsible for forming and mineralizing osteoid, express EGF receptors and alter rates of proliferation and differentiation in response to EGF receptor activation. Transgenic mice over-expressing the EGF-like ligand(More)
Current strategies to enhance gene transfer have focused on the development of vectors to increase the efficiency of DNA delivery. However, the extracellular matrix and microenvironment have a profound impact on numerous cellular activities including spreading and proliferation; two processes that have been associated with gene transfer efficiency. This(More)
Co-culture of endothelial cells (EC) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) results in robust vascular network formation in constrained 3-D collagen/fibrin (COL/FIB) composite hydrogels. However, the ability to form endothelial networks is lost when such gels are allowed to compact via cell-mediated remodeling. In this study, we created co-cultures of human EC(More)
Induced biomineralization of materials has been employed as a strategy to increase integration with host tissue, and more recently as a method to control cell function in tissue engineering. However, mineralization is typically performed in the absence of cells, since hypertonic solutions that lack the nutrients and culture components required for the(More)
The deposition of a bonelike mineral on the surface of polymer scaffolds results in the formation of hybrid biomaterials, possessing enhanced osteoconductivity while retaining appropriate biodegradability. However, current methods of fabricating such composite scaffolds use a prolonged incubation process, which permits scaffold deformation and premature(More)
The process of new blood vessel formation is critical in tissue development, remodeling and regeneration. Modular tissue engineering approaches have been developed to enable the bottom-up assembly of more complex tissues, including vascular networks. In this study, collagen-fibrin composite microbeads (100-300 μm in diameter) were fabricated using a(More)