The AP is reporting an advance in tissue-engineered vessels for the purpose of improving access for diabetics, dialysis patients, and maybe as a source for bypass grafting. Two patients had vessels grown from their own skin samples:
Like many patients in dialysis, the two Argentines, a 56-year-old woman and a 61-year-old man, were faced with the prospect of running out of healthy blood vessels. To grow new ones, doctors took a small piece of skin and a vein from the back of the hand, and nurtured them in a laboratory dish with growth enhancers to help produce substances like collagen and elastin, which give tissues their shape and texture.
The process produced two types of tissue: one that forms the tough structure or backbone of the vessel and one that lines it and helps it to function.
The feel of the new tissue “was very similar to the other vessels” that were present from birth, said Dr. Sergio Garrido, the surgeon who implanted it in the two patients.
The woman’s new vessel has withstood needle punctures three times a week for six months and the man’s for almost three months.
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