Humane pigs

Published: Sunday 15 January 1995

There is more to pigs than pork. Researchers at Purdue University in the US have cannibalised discarded swine to reconstruct damaged human arteries, veins, ligaments and tendons.

Stephen F Badylak and his colleagues first sterilise the middle layer of a pig's small intestine, and then mould it into sheets and tubes. Animal studies showed that within weeks this material remodeled itself into a brand new ligament. And within a year, all traces of the material disappeared. Badylak hopes human trials would begin next year.

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