February 5, 2011

FASTER, PLEASE: Researchers “Grow” New Blood Vessels. “Synthetic blood vessels that can be made in advance and stored until surgery could help patients undergoing heart surgery, hemodialysis—cleansing of the blood in cases of kidney failure—and other procedures. Laura Niklason, an anesthesiologist and biomedical engineer at Yale University, and her collaborators have grown blood vessels using human cells and tested them in baboons, showing that they provoke no immune rejection and avoid common complications of synthetic vessels, such as clotting, bursting, or contracting over time. Researchers hope these studies will show that the vessels are safe enough to win permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin clinical trials.”

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