Navigation Links
Researchers Craft Blood Vessels for Heart, Kidney Patients

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists say they have devised a process to create ready-made, easily stored blood vessels that may potentially be used for patients undergoing heart surgery or kidney dialysis.

Using donor tissue cultured on biodegradable tube-shaped frames called scaffolds, researchers spent more than five years engineering the "off-the-shelf" blood vessels, which cannot be rejected by patients' immune systems and are resistant to infection or clotting. The bioengineered vessels can be refrigerated long-term in a saline solution.

The study was conducted in baboons and dogs by scientists from Duke, East Carolina and Yale universities, along with Humacyte Inc., a private company based in Durham, N.C. that develops products for vascular disease and soft-tissue repair.

"We're very encouraged by the results," said study author Shannon Dahl, who is co-founder and director of scientific operations at Humacyte. "This type of technology has the potential to help more than 500,000 patients each year. The next step is to lay the groundwork . . . that can bring this to the clinic."

While engineered blood vessels can be grown using patients' own cells, the process can take nine months or longer, making it unfeasible for those needing more immediate heart bypass surgery, which is performed in the United States about 400,000 times each year. Doctors can also graft veins from other body areas, particularly the legs, but the ready-made vessels can help those whose veins are unsuitable, Dahl said.

Additionally, the bioengineered veins can be made in sizes large enough to use in kidney dialysis patients, half of whom lack the healthy vessels needed for bloodstream access to dialysis machines and receive grafts made of infection- and obstruction-prone synthetic material, according to the study, reported in the Feb. 2 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, about 320,000 Americans depend on regular dialysis treatments to remove waste products from their blood because of kidney failure.

"I think this is a very nice example of translating a scientific advance into a clinical application in an area in which we have a very large patient population," said Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, a professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University in New York City and director of its Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering.

"What they offer now is essentially making a piece of native vessel without adverse effects on the patient," Vunjak-Novakovic said. "It's almost like a medical device, providing a really native-looking and native-functioning vessel."

Dahl and her team produced 37 vascular grafts using smooth muscle cells of 19 human donors. Once the blood vessels were fully formed, detergent was used to strip the muscle cells away, ensuring they would not cause an immune response in transplant recipients.

The vessels were then implanted in baboons and dogs during coronary artery and carotid artery bypass surgeries, where they experienced low rates of complications and became similar to the animals' natural arteries over several months. When the vessels were removed for examination, there was no evidence of fibrosis or thickening of the vessel walls.

Dahl said the ability to create large supplies of ready-made vessels from a cell bank will someday lead to lower production costs for each vein segment. She said she could not speculate on what those costs might be, however, or when the veins will be tested in humans.

"But the approach we're using is quite unique," Dahl said. "We use large banks of cells, where many approaches to tissue engineering are focused on one patient at a time. So, the approach we use offers an economy of scale."

Vunjak-Novakovic said she believes it might be only several years before the vessels could be available to patients.

"Now they need to do the next step -- study them in humans," she said. "But I don't think any major, critical problems are left. It's very promising."

More information

For more about tissue engineering, visit the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

SOURCES: Shannon Dahl, Ph.D., director, scientific operations, and co-founder, Humacyte, Durham, N.C.; Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Ph.D., professor, biomedical engineering, Columbia University, and director, Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering; Feb. 2, 2011, Science Translational Medicine

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Johns Hopkins researchers develop safer way to make induced pluripotent stem cells
2. BUSM researchers involved in first international collaboration on genetics of Alzheimers disease
3. Trained Labrador Can Sniff Out Colon Cancer, Researchers Say
4. Researchers discover signaling pathway crucial to acute lung injury
5. Researchers discover root cause of blood vessel damage in diabetes
6. Researchers discover age of onset of puberty predicts adult osteoporosis risk
7. Ben-Gurion U. researchers determine that a first medical opinion can influence the second
8. Researchers uncover link to increased atherosclerosis risk in lupus patients
9. Princess Margaret Hospital researchers identify a key enzyme that affects radiation response
10. RIC study suggests researchers are entering a new era of advances in brain research
11. Zebrafish popular with researchers
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Researchers Craft Blood Vessels for Heart, Kidney Patients
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole ... enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese ... PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors ... Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green ... hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are ... many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned ... receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and ... by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... date financial data derived from varied research sources to present ... impact on the market during the next five years, including ... sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report provides ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... PARK RIDGE, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... caliber of students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders ... hands. The 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at ... refused to let type 1 diabetes stand in the ... Lilly Diabetes has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, ... Surgical Procedure Volumes: ... provides surgical procedure volume data in a geographic context. ... analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including world population ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: