Bioengineered veins have potential but must be tested first, says heart charity

New research has shown that tissue-engineered vascular grafts could be useful alternative to synthetically-produced veins used during heart bypass surgery.

Scientists say the new bioengineered veins may lessen the chances of clotting, infection or obstruction when compared to man-made, synthetic alternatives.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said:

“Not everyone is well enough to have a vein taken from another part of their body during heart surgery, so using synthetic veins can become an important part of a patient’s treatment. However, sometimes even synthetic veins aren’t suitable.

“This study shows that bioengineering can be used to create a novel type of vascular graft that has the potential to improve outcomes for patients. We look forward to the results of clinical trials designed to test this.”

The research was published in the Science Translational Medicine journal.

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