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Scientists grow perfect human blood vessels

Scientists have managed to grow perfect human blood vessels as organoids in a petri dish for the first time.

The breakthrough, which is outlined in a new study, dramatically advances research of vascular diseases like diabetes, the team claimed.

They said it identifies a key pathway to potentially prevent changes to blood vessels – a major cause of death and morbidity among those with diabetes.

“Being able to build human blood vessels as organoids from stem cells is a game changer,” said the study’s senior author Josef Penninger.

“Every single organ in our body is linked with the circulatory system. This could potentially allow researchers to unravel the causes and treatments for a variety of vascular diseases, from Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, wound healing problems, stroke, cancer and, of course, diabetes.”

The “vascular organoids” can be cultivated using stem cells in the lab, mimicking the structure and function of real human blood vessels.

When researchers transplanted the blood vessel organoids into mice, they found that they developed into perfectly functional human blood vessels including arteries and capillaries.

The discovery illustrates that it is possible to grow a functional human vascular system in another species.


Image credit | Shutterstock

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