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Ostrich arteries bring bypass hope: Japan scientists

Published on Dec 7, 2012 1:02 PM
 
File photo of an Africa ostrich. Scientists in Japan have used ostrich blood vessels to create a viable bypass in pigs, raising hopes of easier and more effective artery transplants for heart patients. PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVE

TOKYO(AFP) - Scientists in Japan have used ostrich blood vessels to create a viable bypass in pigs, raising hopes of easier and more effective artery transplants for heart patients.

The team found they could harvest blood vessels from the bird’s long neck and use them to construct artificial pathways that are up to 30cm long and as little as 2mm in diameter.

Conventional substitutes – taken from dead human donors, animals or made of synthetic fibres or resins – need to be at least double that in order to prevent problems with clotting.

Chief researcher Tetsuji Yamaoka said the arteries, which carry blood to the ostrich’s head, are processed and lined with clot-preventing molecules on a nano scale.

 
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