Bioengineered blood vessel implanted into arm of patient with end-stage kidney disease

Updated: Jun 09, 2013, 14:22 PM IST

Washington: Doctors at Duke University Hospital created a bioengineered blood vessel and implanted it into the arm of a patient with end-stage kidney disease.

The procedure, the first US clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of the bioengineered blood vessel, is a milestone in the field of tissue engineering.

The new vein is an off-the-shelf, human cell-based product with no biological properties that would cause organ rejection.

Using technology developed at Duke and at a spin-off company it started called Humacyte, the vein is engineered by cultivating donated human cells on a tubular scaffold to form a vessel.

The vessel is then cleansed of the qualities that might trigger an immune response.

In pre-clinical tests, the veins have performed better than other synthetic and animal-based implants.

"It`s exciting to see something you`ve worked on for so long become a reality. We talk about translational technology - developing ideas from the laboratory to clinical practice - and this only happens where there is the multi-disciplinary support and collaboration to cultivate it," Jeffrey H. Lawson, M.D., PhD, a vascular surgeon and vascular biologist at Duke Medicine who helped develop the technology and performed the implantation, said.