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Researchers take steps to growing replacement blood vessels

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Heart attacks may be less deadly in the future, thanks to micro- and nanotechnology research just begun at Ohio State University.

Researchers here are investigating ways to re-grow tiny blood vessels to keep damaged heart tissue alive after a heart attack, by a process called therapeutic angiogenesis.

"Our bodies already contain cells that trigger the growth of new blood vessels. We want to use those same cells to create seeds for blood vessels in the laboratory and transplant them into the body," said Nicanor Moldovan, research scientist and assistant professor in Ohio State's Biomedical Engineering Center, and Heart and Lung Institute.

He relayed the researchers' initial results in a presentation September 25 in Columbus at the BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology World 2000 conference, co-sponsored by Ohio State.

Moldovan admits that his plan of growing capillaries in tissue culture and implanting them in the body is very complex, and relies on ideas about blood vessel formation that are just beginning to emerge.

"We've had to deal with a lot of speculation or supposition, but our approach appears to be a very promising one," he said. "Of course, this is just our dream, but we are working on it."

In these earliest results, Moldovan and his colleagues have demonstrated that these "seed" cells, called endothelial cells, will grow in grooves carved in t
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Contact: Nicanor Moldovan
Moldovan.6@osu.edu
614-688-4739
Ohio State University
25-Sep-2000


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