An Update on Cytograft's Engineered Blood Vessels
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Cytograft is one of many regenerative science ventures established in the past fifteen years, and a competitor in the space of growing blood vessels: "A lot of people were skeptical when two young California-based researchers set out more than a decade ago to create a completely human-derived alternative to the synthetic blood vessels commonly used in dialysis patients. Since then, they've done that and more. ... First the team created blood vessels from patients' own skin cells. Then, in June, the company announced that three dialysis patients had received the world's first lab-grown blood vessels made from skin cells from donors, which eliminates the long lead time needed for making vessels from a patient's own cells. And now Cytograft has developed a new technique for making human textiles that promises to reduce the production cost of these vessels by half. ... Cytograft's new approach builds on what already has been proved successful. In 2005, the team began extracting fibroblasts from patients' own skin, cultured those cells into thin sheets, rolled up those sheets, cultured them some more so that they would fuse together, and implanted the lab-grown cylindrical vessels. The vessel-growing process was lengthy, at about seven months, but, because the vessels were derived from the patients' own cells, the implants were easily accepted by the patients' bodies, and they held up to the rigors of dialysis, which requires repeated punctures with large-gauge needles. Then the researchers created allogeneic vessels - ones grown from donor cells - with the hope that they were laying the foundation for an off-the-shelf stockpile of 100 percent human replacement parts. ... By combining these two methods we could make something that is allogeneic, cheaper to produce, and that you could store forever, meaning that the clinician can pull it off the shelves whenever they want. If it is frozen and allogeneic, that is kind of the homerun."

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423131512.htm

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