Biotech Updates

Bioengineered Blood Vessels Are State-of-the-Artery

June 3, 2011

Bypass surgery and hemodialysis patients need implants of new, functional blood vessels. Usually, the doctors get the patients' own arteries. However, thousands of patients do not have enough resources in their own bodies. Thus, Shannon L. M. Dahl of Humacyte, Inc. in the USA and colleagues developed tissue-engineered blood vessels made from human cells.

"We start out with human cells from a donor. And we seed these cells onto a degradable polymeric scaffold…the cells proliferate and secrete extracellular matrix proteins, which are the proteins in your tissues that give your tissues strength. And during the time of culture, the polymer degrades away. The polymer that we use is actually the same type of polymer that's used in degradable sutures," explained Dahl.

The bioengineered vessels can be stored up for a year, allowing clinics to have ample supplies of arteries and veins for patients undergoing surgery.

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