Right rhythm

Published: Tuesday 15 August 1995

AD artificial heart valves presently substituted for faulty ones, introduce a foreign substance into a patient's body and thus increase the chances of rejection by the body's immune system. Now, researchers at the Children's Hospital in Boston are trying to develop a tissue-engineered valve. Recent findings in this field indicate that patients can eventually receive valves grown from their own cells (Scientific American, Vol 272, No 6).

Initial tests on lambs have been successful, but researchers are not sure how long the valves can with-stand the blood pressure, besides being sceptical about its economic dimensions.

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