Hope for Dialysis Patients with Lab-grown Blood Vessels

Hope for Dialysis Patients with Lab-grown Blood Vessels

The researchers believe these blood vessels could be used to replace damaged arteries caused due to kidney diseases.

Dialysis is a common treatment for patients with kidney diseases. For years, researchers have been working on improving this process and it seems they are one step closer to using bioengineered blood vessels. The researchers at the University of Yale and Duke might have found a breakthrough for this unpleasant process which would be a big relief for patients suffering from kidney disease. These blood vessels would replace donor tissues and synthetic polymers which carry the risk of inflammation and immune system rejection.

For this, the researchers have lined a biodegradable polymer tube with vascular cells from a deceased donor. During the study, they found out that cells multiplied and formed a new tube while polymer scaffolding got broken. Total of 60 patients participated where researchers then implanted those tubes into patients’ arm. Slowly but steadily, their cells migrated into the tubes and multiplied to create mature blood vessels. However, the entire process took one to two years. The artificial blood vessels, though acted and resembled natural blood vessels. Furthermore, the multi-layered tissues grown had repaired themselves at the site of penetration of dialysis.

The researchers also noted that newly engineered blood vessels did not trigger any significant immune reactions in any of the partisans. When the blood samples were taken, participants’ bodies had been populated with a new blood vessel with smooth muscle cells. The new vessels also became covered with microvessels, which supplied nutrients and oxygen to the implant. The researchers think the next step in this study is to test this process on hundreds of patients. They also hope that these vessels could be used to replace damaged arteries due to heart disease. 

Rina Vidyasagar

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