Soon, banks of off-the-shelf body parts for transplants

July 14th, 2010 - 4:43 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 14 (ANI): Scientists are perfecting ways of creating bare ’scaffold’ building blocks of body parts which can then be used in transplants.

The idea is to removing all the soft tissue so just the bare structure is left, take stem cells from the patient and place it on the frame to grow a new body part.

So far, patches to cover a hole or weakening in a blood vessel, knee cartilage and tendons have been created.

Because the scaffold is stripped to a basic structure of just ‘collagen’ and the patient’s stem cells are used, there is no fear of rejection either.

It means patients can avoid powerful immuno-surpressant drugs which shorten life expectancy and can increase the risk of cancer.

“That scaffold is good from an engineering perspective because it’s strong, flexible and retains the properties of the natural tissue. It also has the appropriate shape and size, and from a biological perspective is good because a patient’s cells can bind to it and repopulate it easily,” The Telegraph quoted Prof John Fisher from The University of Leeds as saying.

“These new biological scaffolds will provide off-the-shelf tissues for surgeons for repairing blood vessels after surgery for blocked arteries, for repairing knee cartilage after sporting injuries and cartilage tears, for repairing torn ligaments or tendons and for heart valve repair or replacement,” he added. (ANI)

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