Lab-Grown Blood Vessels - 'Off the Shelf' Grafts for Kidney Dialysis Patients

University of Minnesota researchers have created a new lab-grown blood vessel replacement composed completely of biological materials, yet surprisingly doesn't contain any living cells at implantation. The vessel could be used as an 'off the shelf' graft for kidney dialysis patients. It is the first-of-its-kind non-synthetic, decellularized graft that becomes repopulated with cells by the recipient's own cells when implanted. The discovery could help tens of thousands of kidney dialysis patients each year. The grafts could also be adapted in the future for use as coronary and peripheral bybass blood vessels and tubular heart valves. They performed well in a recent study with nonhuman primates.