New research could shed light on how gum disease drugs affect blood vessels

ADA researchers recently collaborated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology on a study that could lead to more information on how experimental gum disease drugs affect blood vessels. 

The original study examined how fluid flow affects the mechanical properties of biological tissue, the ADA said April 5. 

Researchers 3D-printed microfluidic chambers that allowed small amounts of fluid to flow through. While traveling through the chambers, the fluid would pass human endothelial cells, which adhered themselves to the channel walls to form artificial blood vessels. Researchers then pushed fluid through the channels using fluorescent dye to track the flow and captured the process with a 3D confocal microscope. The study showed that the fluid could leak through the cell layer or get trapped in small pores. 

The ADA said the device could help researchers understand the behavior of tissues in blood vessels, including the effects of new gum disease drugs on the elasticity of blood vessels.

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