Stem cells used to build new blood vessels

Pointing the way to the development of customized blood vessel grafts for heart and kidney disease, researchers have taken stem cells from muscle tissue to make the blood vessel grafts in rats. The stem cells were allowed to develop on elastic tubes within days of extraction. The researchers were able to seed millions of the stem cells on a tube that was 1.2 mm in diameter. Gaining direction from surrounding tissue on blood pressure and other physical traits, the stem cells formed a mature artery. One distinct plus: these grafts did not develop deadly clots that sometimes occur in other grafts. David Vorp at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine says he will next attempt to replicate these results in pigs, which bear a closer physical resemblance to humans.

- read this report on the stem cell research from The Age