Blood Vessels From Stem Cells

As a counterpart to recent work on dedifferentiating blood cells into stem cells, scientists are taking steps in the other direction: culturing blood vessels from stem cells. EurekAlert notes that researchers "have successfully differentiated the stem cells into myocytes, one of the building blocks of blood vessels ... scientists hope to be able to eventually grow whole blood vessels that can be transplanted back into mice. ... Tissue-engineered blood vessels have also seen some success when transplanted into animal models, but still face a variety of limitations, [key] among them rejection by the immune system. By creating a tissue-engineered blood vessel grown from a patient's own stem cells, this rejection could potentially be eliminated ... Our goal is to derive all the different cell types from the same, original cell. This would be new for an engineered tissue. We hope our work with mouse stem cells could eventually be translated to human autologous adult stem cells."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-06/sumc-sda062106.php

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