Adult stem cells from liposuction used to create blood vessels in the lab

Adult stem cells extracted during liposuction can be used to grow healthy new small-diameter blood vessels for use in heart bypass surgery and other procedures, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association's Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Millions of cardiovascular disease patients are in need of small-diameter vessel grafts for procedures requiring blood to be routed around blocked arteries.

These liposuction-derived vessels, grown in a lab, could help solve major problems associated with grafting blood vessels from elsewhere in the body or from using artificial blood vessels that are not living tissue, said Matthias Nollert, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and associate professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering, in Norman, Okla.

"Current small-diameter vessel carry an inherent risk of clotting, being rejected or otherwise failing to function normally," Nollert said. "Our engineered blood vessels have good mechanical properties and we believe they will contract normally when exposed to hormones. They also appear to prevent the accumulation of — a component in blood that causes arteries to narrow."

In this study, derived from fat are turned into smooth muscle cells in the laboratory, and then "seeded" onto a very thin collagen membrane. As the stem cells multiplied, the researchers rolled them into tubes matching the diameter of small blood vessels. In three to four weeks, they grew into usable blood vessels.

Creating blood vessels with this technique has the potential for "off-the-shelf" replacement vessels that can be used in graft procedures, Nollert said.

The researchers hope to have a working prototype to test in animals within six months.

Related Stories

Engineered Blood Vessels Function like Native Tissue

date Jul 05, 2007

Blood vessels that have been tissue-engineered from bone marrow adult stem cells may in the future serve as a patient's own source of new blood vessels following a coronary bypass or other procedures that require vessel replacement, ...

Protein identified that plays role in blood flow

date Sep 18, 2008

For years, researchers have known that high blood pressure causes blood vessels to contract and low blood pressure causes blood vessels to relax. Until recently, however, researchers did not have the tools to determine the ...

Recommended for you

Cognitive impairment predicts worse outcome in heart failure

date 14 hours ago

Cognitive impairment predicts worse outcome in elderly heart failure patients, reveals research presented today at Heart Failure 2015 by Hiroshi Saito, a physiotherapist at Kameda Medical Centre in Kamogawa, Japan. Patients ...

1950s drug is future heart treatment

date May 22, 2015

Oxford University researchers have found a promising future treatment for heart disease, going back to a drug first developed in 1950.

Time is muscle in acute heart failure

date May 21, 2015

Urgent diagnosis and treatment in acute heart failure has been emphasised for the first time in joint recommendations published today in European Heart Journal.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.