In another leap forward for regenerative/transplant medicine, an international team of surgeons working in Russia have for the first time transplanted completely synthetic pieces of larynx into two patients in procedures that mark the first steps toward creating and transplanting an entire larynx from scratch.
Japanese researchers working with induced pluripotent stem cells have coaxed a semi-functional, liver-like tissue from a petri dish in what could mark a significant step forward for regenerative medicine and the science of creating new, working organs from scratch. There’s still a long way to go of course, but researchers are enthusiastic that the work could light the way forward for pluripotent stem cell research into organ generating technologies.
We’re already printing organs to order, so why not Cmd+P some customized 3-D bone? Washington State University researchers have tweaked a 3-D rapid prototyper designed to create metal parts to print in a bone-like material that acts as a scaffold for new bone cells. In just a few years, the researchers say, doctors and dentists could be printing up custom bone tissue to order.
Surgeons working at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden have taken a huge step forward for regenerative medicine by successfully executing the world’s first synthetic organ transplant. The donor-less transplant saved the life of a 36-year-old cancer patient, who is doing well now after having received a new windpipe grown from his own stem cells.
California researchers have created a tissue-engineered small-scale small intestine in mice, a breakthrough for regenerative medicine and a step toward growing new intestines for humans. The process re-creates all the layers of cells that make up a functioning intestine.
In a critical first step toward treating nervous system disorders and other degenerative conditions, researchers at Stanford have for the first time transformed human skin cells into functioning neurons. This isn’t stem cell technology--using tissue derived from aborted fetuses and the foreskins of newborns, the researchers were able to create working nerve cells that went on to form synapses with other nerve cells.
Bone marrow has long been thought to have a role in repairing damaged skin, and now UK and Japanese researchers think they’ve found the key to summoning stem cells from bone marrow to the site of damaged skin: a signal known as HMGB1. By tapping this signaling mechanism, researchers could develop new treatments for skin injuries like severe burns.