McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Yadong Wang, PhD, associate professor of bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh, has led a study that resulted in arteries grown with elasticity outside the body, which are the closest to resembling natural blood vessels.
Along with Dr. Wang’s postdoctoral fellow Kee-Woo Lee and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Donna Stolz, PhD, associate director of the Center for Biologic Imaging and associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Wang used the smooth-muscle cells of a baboon and grew them inside a porous, rubber tube, which was then placed in a bioreactor which regularly pumped a nutrient-rich solution – much like that occurs naturally in the body. Over 3 weeks the cells grew and formed an artery-like structure, which gradually replaced the rubber tube. The structure contained approximately 20% of the elastin and 10% of the collagen typically found in a baboon vessel. This significant advance opens up new doors for future clinical tools in artery repair.
The results of the research were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Abstract (Substantial expression of mature elastin in arterial constructs. Kee-Won Lee, Donna B. Stolz, and Yadong Wang. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; epub 2011 January 31.)