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.
Tissue engineering, which promises to rebuild or replace injured or failing body parts, has seen some major advancements in recent months, with biological scaffolds used to create new bones in rabbits and regrown muscle in humans. But it's more difficult to make a complete organ, which has several types of cells that must all function properly.
The small intestine is a good subject for this type of study because it's a particularly regenerative organ, said Dr. Tracy C. Grikscheit, the lead author of a paper on this research.
Grikscheit and colleagues at The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles took samples of mice intestinal tissue, including all the layers of cells — muscle cells and epithelial cells. Then the team transplanted the cells onto a polymer scaffold within the abdomen, a news release explains. Growth factor proteins encouraged the cells to replicate.
New small intestines grew on the scaffold, the researchers say, and they had all the constituents of a normal intestine. The new intestines "contained the most essential components of the originals," according to the news release.
The research could someday be used to treat various intestinal disorders, including a particular gastrointestinal disease that affects premature babies, according to Children's Hospital. An engineered replacement organ would conceivably last much longer than a transplant, if one is even available.
A paper on the research is published in the journal Tissue Engineering Part A.
one step closer to becoming an immortal species.
This is the first thing you've said that actually has some truth to it, and finally something that makes sense.
But I'm not sure if immortality is such a good idea for the Earth in it's current state. Have you ever read Robinson's Mars Trilogy?
sorry for not getting back to you in a while, immortality is inevitable. we need it if we want to dominate the cosmos. ive never read Robinson's Mars Trilogy. i will look into it.
Nevermind all the immortality #@#@#. As the parent of a child with a very rare small intestine disorder, I welcome the scientific advance so maybe my child can live past the age of 10 and not die a very slow painful death from malnutrition!!!!! Artificial organs may be God's knowledge passed onto mankind not for the sake of immortality but at least for a child or young adult to have some reasonable life expectancy. It's not the science itself, it's what mankind does with the science!!!!
I second dxcrawfo.... I suffer from Crohn's disease and have had two intestinal resections (a total of apprx 12" were removed). I would love to one day have a fully functional and healthy set of intestines. DX - all the best to your child. As a parent, I cannot imagine what this must be like. I will keep you in my prayers.
I have Crohn's disease as well but I've only have five feet of small intestine left. I am 34 years old with a 5 year old son my second greatest fear is that I will lose 1 or 2 more feet and my son will watch me starve to death instead of me watching him grow up into the amazing man I know he will become.My greatest fear is that he may get Crohn's as well.
I will not bore you with stories of suffering because over time a person can get use to pain but no amount of time will take my fears away.This medicine can do that.So you'll have to excuse those of us who don't care about the bad it could do, but care only of the good it will do
As a mother of a baby that passed away from small intestine failure that casue the rest of his organs to fail, I think this is wonderful. Advances in this could save babys lives like my sons. I only wish that this was a choice for us when he was still alive. I hope they further continue research in this field so that no one will have to go through what he and I went through.