Scientists Successfully Grow Human Blood Vessels in a Petri Dish

By: | February 13th, 2019

An illustration of vascular organoids, lab-made human blood vessels, based on original data. Credit: IMBA

An international team of scientists have managed to grow perfect replicas of human blood vessels as organoids in a petri dish for the first time. An organoid is a three-dimensional structure grown from stem cells that imitates an organ. It is a revolutionary technology which will help us understand and study crippling diseases like diabetes.

Persons with diabetes, often shows sign of abnormal thickening of their blood vessels. This thickening results in impaired blood circulation and oxygen supply to the tissues, which can lead to many health issues ranging from kidney failure and blindness to heart attacks and strokes.

Josef Penninger, senior author of the new research said, “Being able to build human blood vessels as organoids from stem cells is a game changer.”

Researchers did experiments on mice, and they successfully transplanted the blood vessel organoids into mice.

According to Josef Penninger, “The structure looks the same and the main genes which are expressed in our bodies and in these capillaries are very, very similar,”

Penninger explained that in future, they expect this technology will help them develop treatments for other diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer and strokes. Hopefully it will also be transplanted into live humans to heal or replace damaged tissues.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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