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New method to regrow blood vessels could benefit heart disease treatment

Washington, Fri, 17 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb 17 (ANI): A newer and more effective method for growing blood vessels in the heart and limbs has been developed, which could have major implications for how heart disease is treated.


This advancement in research has been made by University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering Assistant Professor Aaron Baker. It could allow doctors to bypass surgery and instead repair damaged blood vessels simply by injecting a lipid-incased substance into a patient. Once inside the body, the substance stimulates cell growth and spurs the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones.


The method has been successfully tested on rats.


"Others have tried using growth factors to stimulate vessel growth in clinical trials and have not been successful," said Baker, a faculty member in the school's Department of Biomedical Engineering.


"We think that a major reason for this is that previous methods assumed the diseased tissues retained the ability to respond to a growth stimulus.


"Our method basically delivers extra components that can restore growth factor responsiveness to the tissue of patients with long-standing clinical disease," he said.


The findings of the study were published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)


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