Researchers at Duke and a spin-off company called Humacyte have been working on bioengineered blood vessels for almost fifteen years.
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The operation, performed on Wednesday, June 5 at Duke University Hospital, was the bioengineered blood vessel's first clinical trial.
One of the major challenges in bioengineering human tissue for medical purposes is that the human body tends to reject implanted organs; the immune system will often attack these foreign cells as if they were harmful invaders.
The tissue of this artificially grown blood vessel is made from donated human cells. These cells are placed in a solution of amino acids, vitamins and nutrients, and grown around a tube-shaped mesh structure, causing the cells to form into the shape of a blood vessel.
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