Stem cells help create blood vessels and save life of girl

A Swedish doctor has demonstrated the potential of stem cells to, someday, regenerate organs and saved the life of a 10-year-old girl in the process. According to a news release from the University of Gothenberg in Sweden, surgeon and professor Michael Olausson removed a blood vessel from a deceased donor, chemically treated it to remove all DNA and RNA cells from it, then seeded stem cells from the girl's bone marrow to create a healthy, living blood vessel.

"We carried out the surgery over three months ago now, and the result was very good, with no serious complications. To our knowledge this is the first procedure of this type in the world," Olausson said in a news release. "The girl is in good health, and we believe that her prognosis is very good. Since the vessel was created with the girl's own stem cells, she does not need to take drugs to prevent rejection."

Bloomberg reports that surgeons in Barcelona used a similar procedure in 2008 to create a new windpipe for a woman whose airway collapsed due to a tuberculosis infection.

"The next step is to intensify research into the recreation of other organs, and to develop methods that can be used for arteries," Olausson said. "This can help, among others, patients who need dialysis and those needing surgery for the coronary arteries. It may also help those needing complete organs."

- read the release from the University of Gothenberg
- and Bloomberg filed this report