Magazine article USA TODAY

Tissue-Engineered Marrow a Key Source

Magazine article USA TODAY

Tissue-Engineered Marrow a Key Source

Article excerpt

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, according to research from the University at Buffalo (N.Y.).

"Our results show that bone marrow is an excellent source of adult stem cells containing smooth muscle and endothelial cells, and that these stem cells can be used in regenerative medicine for cardiovascular applications" explains Stelios T. Andreadis, associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

The research demonstrates the potential for eventually growing tissue-engineered vessels (TEVs) out of stem cells harvested from the patients who need them, providing a desirable alternative to the venous grafts now routinely done in patients undergoing coronary bypass operations. Disadvantages with venous grafts include limited availability of vessels, pain and discomfort at the donor site, and a high 10-year failure rate.

The researchers developed a novel method for isolating functional smooth muscle cells from bone mar row by using a fluorescent marker protein and a tissue-specific promoter for alpha-actin, a protein found in muscles that is responsible for their ability to contract and relax. …

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