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David Hess of The University of Western Ontario in London drew human bone marrow and simultaneously isolated three different types of stem cells that co-ordinate together to form new blood vessels.

These pro-angiogenic stem cells were purified to remove inflammatory or contaminated cells and injected into the circulation of mice with one of their leg arteries. The stem cells honed into the area of ischemia (inadequate blood supply) and managed to induce blood vessel repair.

Hess said in his statement: "If you select the right stem cells from the patient's own bone marrow and put them back in the area of ischemia, they will coordinate the formation of new blood vessels. These principles could be applied not only to ischemic limbs but to aid in the formation of new blood vessels in ischemic tissue anywhere in the body, for example after a stroke or heart attack."

A clinical trial involving 21 patients with end-stage peripheral artery disease is underway in Houston.


This is very encouraging news indeed.