Research could lead to new treatment
Liposuction isn't just about vanity anymore.
According to the American Heart Association: “Adult stem cells extracted during liposuction can be used to grow healthy new small-diameter blood vessels for use in heart bypass surgery and other procedures. … Millions of cardiovascular disease patients are in need of small-diameter vessel grafts for procedures requiring blood to be routed around blocked arteries.”
The vessels can be grown in a lab, addressing “major problems associated with grafting blood vessels from elsewhere in the body or from using artificial blood vessels that are not living tissue,” according to a heart association news release.
Grafted and artificial vessels can clot, be rejected or fail to function properly. Using the new method, the release states, “adult stem cells derived from fat are turned into smooth muscle cells in the laboratory and then ‘seeded' onto a very thin collagen membrane.” As the cells multiply, researchers roll them into tubes the diameter of blood vessels; within a few weeks, they have replacement vessels.
The lead author of the study is Matthias Nollert, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering in Norman.
Nollert and his colleagues hope to test the vessels in animals within six months.
The research was presented at the heart association's Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2012 Scientific Sessions.
Spanish-language support group
The Integris Hispanic Initiative hosts a cancer support group for female Spanish speakers.
“Luzca Bien … Sientase Mejor,” or “Look Good … Feel Better,” was created to help female cancer patients look their best and improve their self-esteem. The better patients feel about themselves, the better they're able to manage cancer treatment and recovery.
The group is open to all Spanish speaking women with cancer who are getting chemotherapy, radiation or other forms of treatment.
The group will meet from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 13 in the basement level of the Integris Southwest Medical Center Medical Office Building, 4200 S Douglas Ave.
All program materials will be provided in Spanish.
For more information or to register, call 951-2277 and press 2 for Spanish.
Join this upcoming charity walk
More than 4,000 people are expected to participate in the 2012 Buddy Walk, the major fundraiser for Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma.
The event promotes awareness of Down syndrome, according to a news release, and most of the money collected will stay in the central Oklahoma area to fund the association's activities and programs.
The walk was created by the national association in 1995. It has grown from 17 walks its first year to nearly 250 walks in 2012. Last year, the walks raised more than $11.5 million.
The Central Oklahoma chapter helps Down syndrome patients and their families through informational packets for new parents, a lending library, conferences and workshops, lobbying, scholarships to attend the National Down Syndrome Congress, support groups and teen and adult programs.
The event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr. The walk begins at noon.
Entertainment includes raffles, moon bounces, a petting zoo, games, music and more. Parking is free at the Coca-Cola Event Center east of the ballpark. Tell the attendant you are with the Buddy Walk.
To register or make a donation, go to www.razoo.com/dsaco.
Event benefits local art
The eighth annual Midnight Streak, a 5k run for the arts, will be at 11 p.m. Aug. 11 at City Arts Center in State Fair Park, 3000 General Pershing Blvd.
“Cool-er Runnings” is the theme for the fundraiser for the City Arts Center. The title is a play on the 1990s comedy, “Cool Runnings,” about a Jamaican bobsled team.
The event will feature live music by local reggae/ska band Sunny Side Up, a “Star Party” hosted by the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club, a glow-in-the-dark children's art activities tent and Subway spokesman Jared Fogle's announcement of the third annual Subway OKC Weight Loss Challenge.
Festivities begin at 9 p.m. and continue until midnight.
Registration is $30 and includes a Dri-Fit T-shirt. Proceeds support City Art Center's mission to encourage artistic expression in all its forms through education and exhibitions. Register online or in person at City Arts Center.
Go to www.cityartscenter.org or call 951-0000 for more information.