If Dr. Laura Niklason has her way, vascular surgeons will someday be able to pull human veins off a shelf, whenever they want, to save lives.
Niklason is a pioneer in the science — and art — of tissue-engineered replacement of human body components. Last year, she led a research team that successfully implanted tissue-engineered lungs, cultured in vitro, in adult rats. For short intervals of time, the engineered lungs exchanged oxygen and carbon dioxide similarly to natural lungs. (more…)