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The latest lab-grown organ

2017-09-13 12:55

It Takes Guts.
Functional intestine becomes the latest lab-grown organ.
When it comes to growing intestines, the first inch is the hardest봢specially in a petri dish.
Scientists at Cincinnati Children셲 Hospital Medical Center have met that benchmark: they recently reported in Nature Medicine that they had grown a piece of gut봭erves, muscles and all봣rom a single line of human stem cells. In the future such tissue could be used for studying disease and more.
In 2011 researchers at the same center announced that they had grown intestinal tissue-but it was missing nerve cells and so was unable to contract in the undulating motion that pushes food along a colon. This time around, the scientists grew neurons separately and then combined them with another batch of stem cells that had been induced to become muscle and intestinal lining. Voil횪: an inch-long piece of gut formed. 쏪ust like in developing human bodies, the nerve cells knew where to go, says Michael Helmrath, surgical director of the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program at Cincinnati Children셲. The scientists then transplanted the tissue onto a living mouse셲 intestine so it could mature. After harvesting it for testing, they stimulated the bespoke chunk with a shock of electricity.
It contracted and continued to do so on its own. 쏷he function was quite remarkable,
Helmrath says. Intestines now join kidneys, brain matter and a few other kinds of tissue that can be grown in the lab. Next, Helmrath and his colleague Jim Wells would like to coax longer pieces of intestine by working with pigs. Eventually the researchers hope to help treat people with gastrointestinal problems by making copies of a patient셲 gut to observe how a disease manifests봮r even to transplant the tissue. 쏧ntestines are a complex structure to grow, Wells says. 쏷hat we셶e even gotten this far in such a short time gives me hope that we can grow something therapeutically useful in the long run. Ryan F. Mandelbaum
Source : Scientific American - March 2017