Packaging is cleaned and sterilized before opening.

A bioengineered tissue is used in a vein graft at Duke University Hospital on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. A kidney dialysis patient was the first in U.S. to receive a blood vessel grown in a laboratory.

In a first-of-its-kind operation in the United States, a team of doctors at Duke University Hospital helped create a bioengineered blood vessel and implanted it into the arm of a patient with end-stage renal disease.

The procedure, the first U.S. clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of the bioengineered blood vessel, is a milestone in the field of tissue engineering. The new vein is an off-the-shelf, human cell-based product with no biological properties that would cause organ rejection.

Using technology developed at Duke and at a spin-off company it started called Humacyte, the vein is engineered by cultivating donated human cells on a tubular scaffold to form a vessel. The vessel is then cleansed of the qualities that might trigger an immune response. In pre-clinical tests, the veins have performed better than other synthetic and animal-based implants.


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