A Universal Graft?
Many uses have been found for the intestines of pigs. Some astonishing test grafts now suggest that a portion of the pig’s intestine may provide doctors with an almost universal graft. Tests show that the grafted intestine can be used for several types of repairs and offers no problems with rejection.
Pig intestine is made up of three layers of tissue. The outer layer is muscular tissue. The inner layer is the tissue involved in digestion. They are held together by a layer of mostly collagen connective tissue. Purdue University veterinarians have developed a process for separating the collagen layer from the other two layers.
This layer, called SIS, resists blood clots. For this reason, researchers first tested it as a possible replacement material for damaged aortas. It worked well. And to their surprise, they found that after two months, the SIS had been dissolved by the body and replaced by a new, undamaged aorta. The new aortas remained strong and healthy five years after the surgery. Researchers also investigated the ability of SIS to rebuild knee ligaments and Achilles tendons. Weeks after surgery, the SIS had become fully developed ligament and tendon tissue.
This research reminds us that God has created plants and animals to help us, as well as for us to tend and care for.