London: In a path-breaking research, a team of Swedish researchers has successfully grown brand new blood vessels with just two tablespoons of blood in a flat seven days.
Just three years ago, a patient at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, University of Gothenburg, received a blood vessel transplant grown from her own stem cells.
In the new procedure, the blood vessel transplant was carried out in two young children who did not have the vein that goes from the gastrointestinal tract to the liver.
"Once again we used the stem cells of the patients to grow a new blood vessel that would permit the two organs to collaborate properly," claimed Michael Olausson, surgeon and medical director of the transplant center and professor at Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg.
Along with Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson, professor of transplantation biology at Sahlgrenska Academy, Olausson planned and carried out the procedure.
This time, they found a novel way to extract stem cells that did not necessitate taking them from the bone marrow.
The new method involved taking 25 millilitre (approximately two tablespoons) of blood, the minimum quantity needed to obtain enough stem cells.
"The blood itself accelerated growth of the new vein. The entire process took only a week as opposed to a month in the first case. The blood contains substances that naturally promote growth," Sumitran-Holgersson said.
Professors Olausson and Sumitran-Holgersson have treated three patients so far.
Two of the three patients are still doing well and have veins that are functioning as they should.
In the third case, the child is under medical surveillance.
The study appeared in the journal EbioMedicine.