3 posts tagged transplant
Scientists’ ability to ‘grow’ living organs boosts patient transplant hopes
Scientists have created the first functional organ in a living animal from reprogrammed cells in a development that could one day be used to provide replacement organs for people with weakened immune systems. The thymus organ, a vital immune-system “nerve centre” near the heart, was initially grown in a laboratory from connective-tissue cells. It was then transplanted into laboratory mice, where it continued to grow and develop into a fully functional organ, the researchers said. It is believed to be the first time that scientists have strung several technologies together to produce a working organ from stem cells which has been transferred into a living animal. It could lead to the transplant of “made-to-order” organs grown from a patient’s own skin cells, though such a breakthrough could take another 10 years and millions of pounds of research. However, Paolo De Coppi, an expert on regenerative medicine at the Institute of Child Health at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, suggested an earlier time frame is possible. “Engineering of relatively simple organs has already been adopted for a small number of patients and it is possible that within the next five years, more complex organs will be engineered for patients using specialised cells derived from stem cells in a similar way as outlined in this [study],” he said. “We’ve managed to produce an artificial cell type which when transplanted can form a fully organised and functional organ. This is an important step towards the goal of generating a clinically useful artificial thymus in the lab,” said Professor Clare Blackburn of the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Edinburgh University. (via Scientists’ ability to ‘grow’ living organs boosts patient transplant hopes - Science - News - The Independent)
Russian Scientists Successfully Transplant a Synthetic Larynx
The latest graft is different, because it involves a synthetic structure rather than a graft from a cadaver.
Before implantation, the part was seeded with stem cells from the patient’s own bone marrow, so that once transplanted it would grow its own layers of native surface cells. The coating was performed in a special reactor by Harvard Bioscience, a company in Holliston, Massachusetts.
“We see this as the beginning of growing synthetic organs,” says the company’s president, David Green. “It’s the stuff of scientific fiction becoming medical reality.” Last year, a man received the first synthetic windpipe, a Y-shaped appendage that was also covered with the patient’s own stem cells.