In a first-of-its-kind operation in the United States, doctors at Duke University hospital implanted a bioengineered vein into the arm of a patient. The operation is the first U.S. trial of human-cell based vein implant. The bioengineered vein is based on a biodegradable mesh scaffolding. Donor cells are added to and the mesh dissolves away. The vein is then cultured in nutrients for two months.
Its is then washed of the living cells, leaving a collagen structure. These non-living veins can can be stored, then and transplanted freely as they do not generate an immune response.