Scientists have managed to grow'perfect' human blood vessels in the lab for the first time. The breakthrough could have a dramatic effect on research into a host of vascular problems, including diabetes. It will allow researchers to study and test new drugs far more easily. A 3D reconstruction of one of the blood vessel'organoids' the team was able to grow from stem cells. 'Being able to build human blood vessels as organoids from stem cells is a game changer,' said the study's senior author Josef Penninger, director of the Life Sciences Institute at the University of British Columbia.
Tiny drug-carrying robots that can move against the direction of blood flow could one day be used to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly to cancer cells. Metin Sitti at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany and his colleagues have developed tiny robots called "microrollers" that can carry cancer drugs and selectively target human breast cancer cells. The team drew inspiration for design of the robots from white blood cells in the human body, which can move along the walls of blood vessels against the direction of blood flow. The microrollers are made from glass microparticles and are spherical in shape. One half of the robot was coated with a thin magnetic nanofilm made from nickel and gold.
Blood pressure pills taken by millions worldwide could raise the risk of lung cancer, research has found. It showed that patients on ACE inhibitors were 14 per cent more likely to develop the cancer than those on other types of drugs. The risk went up the longer patients were on the medication. Those taking them for five years were 22 per cent more likely to get lung cancer rising to 31 per cent if they were on them for ten years. Scientists believe the drugs cause the accumulation of chemicals called bradykinin on the lung which in turn leads to cancer.
Dialysis, a common treatment for kidney disease, is far from pleasant, and companies and researchers are constantly working to improve the process. Now, researchers from Humacyte Inc., Duke University and Yale think they're one step closer to using bioengineered blood vessels. These would replace synthetic polymers and donor tissues, which carry risks of inflammation and immune system rejection. Dialysis replicates some of the kidney's key functions, but it requires a machine that pulls blood out of a blood vessel, filters it and pumps it back into the body. Typically, an extra blood vessel -- either synthetic or donated -- is implanted into the patient's arm, and that channels blood into the dialysis machine.