Fueled by the 2011 statewide regional economic development process under Governor Andrew Cuomo, the NY Cap Research Alliance is an unprecedented regional collaboration among Albany Medical Center, the University at Albany, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. By providing seed funding for collaborative research projects in the area of translational medicine and related fields, the Alliance leverages strategic funding from New York state into potential new jobs and millions of dollars in new federal, industrial, and other outside investment. The Alliance also serves to grow the reputation of the Capital Region as a national and global hotspot for biomedical research.
A major aspect of regenerative medicine is to develop tissue engineering techniques that allow a defective organ or tissue to be replaced with a normally functioning substitute. One key challenge of creating engineered tissue, however, is the lack of a perfused microvascular network which serves to supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissue. The endothelial cells forming this vascular network not only serve as pipes carrying blood through the tissue, they also play a critical role in the development and differentiation of cells comprising the tissue.