A living bandage that wraps around organs could lead to powerful new treatments for diseased body parts.
Tissue engineers have previously treated injured blood vessels by wrapping them in healthy cells from the vessels' inner walls. It turns out that a similar trick can work with the trachea.
Brett Zani of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and colleagues wrapped the damaged tracheas of rabbits in a matrix of collagen and epithelial cells, which caused some tissue to regrow. Endothelial cells are responsible for growing blood vessels, so adding them to the mix encouraged the tracheas to heal until they looked virtually uninjured
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