Researchers have successfully managed to implant blood vessels grown from donor cells, raising hopes that such a procedure can be used as replacement arteries in the future.
The study was commissioned by Cytograft Tissue Engineering Inc. of Novato, California, and made use of donor skin cells to grow the blood vessels. These blood vessels were then given temporary support before being implanted into the patients.
Lead researcher Todd McAllister said that they have implanted the new vessels in three Polish patients who are all in the final stage of their kidney disease and are on dialysis. The researcher said that the implants were done in order to allow better access for dialysis with the vessels acting as "shunts" between the veins and arteries.
McAllister said that the implants were done eight months ago and the patients are responding well to the grafts with the immune system not rejecting the implants in any of the patients. "To date all the grafts are patent functioning well. Perhaps most interestingly, we have seen no clinical manifestations of an immune response", he said.