Synthetic Replacement Veins Will Make You a Cardiovascular Cyborg

Next-gen cyborgs will have human blood flowing through artificial veins (pictured), and their organs will be grown in a lab to act just like real organs, only better, stronger, faster. We have the technology. The next time someone you know gets a coronary bypass, they might come out of the operation as a cyborg. In fact, there is a new field of biotech whose practitioners are calling themselves cyborg engineers.

Sometimes here at io9, we have to stretch a little to fit cool sci-fi buzzwords like "cyborg" or "post-apocalypse" into our science headlines. But sometimes the scientists do it for us. A team of scientists recently grafted vascular smooth muscle cells and epithelial umbilical cells onto a scaffold of poly-urethane, forming flexible artificial veins and arteries. They referred to this as "cyborg engineering." Once they started pumping blood through them, they found the cyborg veins worked better under vascular pressure. They hope to use them in coronary bypass surgeries, in which a vein from another part of the body is used to shunt a vein around a blockage.

Artificial veins are just a first step toward engineering artifical organs. Not only would this give us a near limitless supply of replacement organs (no more dramatic "tricking hospital administrators into allowing a patient onto the donor waiting list" scenes on House), but we could design the organs to be more healthy and perfect than real ones. You could celebrate your 50th birthday with a batch of fresh, young organs. Your cyborg grandpa might live to be 200. Image by: Science Daily.

'Cyborg Engineering' Enables Coronary Bypass Grafting Using Artificial Veins And Arteries. [Science Daily]