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06-04-2012, 06:45 PM #1
Lab-grown human blood vessels could help study diseases, grow tissues for transplant
A team of bioengineers at the University of Washington has developed the first structure for growing small human blood vessels in the laboratory. The vessels behave remarkably like those in a living human and offer a better and much more modular approach to studying blood-related diseases, testing drugs and, one day, growing human tissues for transplant.
The past year alone has brought remarkable advances in blood vessel regrowth in the human body, ranging from regenerating bandages that can speed up angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones) to new ways of fighting myocardial ischemia disease.
The University of Washington breakthrough, however, marks the first time that blood vessels are grown in the lab, allowing researchers to study much more extensively how conditions such as thrombosis and angiogenesis - but also cancer and the later stages of malaria - affect the circulatory system.
The microvessels behave remarkably like they would in the human body, sprouting new branches when in contact with stromal cells, reacting appropriately to clotting agents, and transporting blood even through sharp corners....being a human...