A 10-year old girl from Sweden suffering from blockages in her hepatic portal vein (blood flow between the liver and the gut) received a transplant that used her own stem cells to grow a new vein. A vein was removed from a cadaver and stripped of it's cells, leaving behind only a structural protein scaffold. This was then covered in stem cells from the patient's own bone marrow. Usually during transplants, there is risk of the body rejecting the "foreign material" - but because the stem cells are from the patient, the grafted vein was taken into the body without any need for immunosuppresant drugs. Very cool!
|Cross section of hepatic vein filled with red blood cells|
|Giant virus (red) infected by Sputnik virus (purple)|