Surgeons at Duke University have succeeded in transplanting a very interesting bit of biotechnology. It's a lab-grown blood vessel, and the surgery to implant it was the first of its kind.
The blood vessel was created by taking some donated human cells and implanting them upon a tubular scaffold. Once in place and properly populated, the donated cells were then scrubbed of any genetic information that might cause the blood vessel to be rejected. The result is a readily-implementable human vein which can be used all across the US in nearly half a million surgeries per year.
For now, however, surgeons will have to let a mere 20 surgeries suffice. That's the extent of the clinical trial that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved. If the 19 remaining kidney dialysis patients receive their bio-engineered blood vessels as successfully as the first one seems to have, then the hundreds of thousands of other Americans who might benefit from this surgery can start breathing a whole lot easier. As for now, the prognosis on lab-grown veins is looking good.
Via Duke Health