grow yr own arteries

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Fri Jul 07 2000 - 01:31:33 MDT

Patients may grow arteries

             By RADA ROUSE
             Friday 7 July 2000

             Patients who need heart bypass surgery may be able to grow
             their own arteries in future, research shows.

             A technique developed at the University of Queensland
             exploits the body's own immune process to allow an artificial
             artery to be grown in the stomach, then harvested for use in
             the heart.

             Julie Campbell, the head of the Centre for Research in
             Vascular Biology, said this could replace the practice of
             transplanting arteries or veins from elsewhere in the body.

             So far, the technique has been proved only in animals, in
             which the arteries have lasted 12 months or more.

             The process uses the principles of granulation, in which
             immune cells called macrophages build a capsule of tissue
             around a foreign body.

             "The process is similar to the way an oyster builds a pearl
             around a foreign body, in its case a tiny granule of sand,"
             Professor Campbell said.

             Colleague Dr Robert MacGinley told the Australasian
             Biotechnology Association annual conference in Brisbane
             yesterday that the centre's preliminary results were better
             than any other tissue-engineered vessel, auguring well for
             human trials within two years. More than 17,000 Australians
             undergo heart bypass surgery every year.

             Professor Campbell said growing an artificial artery using the
             centre's technique took two to three weeks.
             - AAP



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