Scientists have searched for years for a renewable cell source to craft blood vessels that can be used for heart bypass surgery and perform more like natural arteries.
Now, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown that mesenchymal stem cells from adult bone marrow can be repeatedly and mechanically stretched -- in a manner similar to a taffy pull -- into patterns.
The result could potentially transform these mesenchymal stem cells into smooth muscle cells similar to blood vessel tissue.
These newly formed smooth muscle cells, which can expand and contract, could be used as a component of a tissue-engineered graft that may provide superior performance over conventional grafts that are used for bypass surgery, says study leader Kyle Kurpinkski, a doctoral candidate in the University's Department of Bioengineering.
Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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