Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, led by David Vorp (Vorp 9, Captain?) have managed to grow blood vessels resembling mature arteries from muscle-derived stem cells…
These so-called muscle-derived stem cells are adult stem cells — distinct from the embryonic versions that are currently under debate.
The researchers sprayed, or seeded, 10 million of these stem cells into tubes just 0.05 inch (1.2 mm) in diameter.
The stem cells grew on these scaffolds for a week before the tubes were sewn into the major artery in each rat’s abdomen.
Eight weeks later, they found that the graft, guided by cues such as blood pressure from the surrounding tissue, had remodeled itself to resemble a mature artery. They had layers of distinct cells, including the endothelial calls that line natural blood vessels.
Cool. Although, while there’s no shortage of cool experimental results from tissue engineering efforts, it remains to be seen when anyone’s going to make a clinically (and commercially) viable product out of such efforts. With other technologies, the corporate, regulatory and clinical channels are already in place, but not so much here.
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