Bioengineered organs may redefine transplants for humans someday, and even allow damaged organs to regenerate.
Northwestern University researchers are in the beginning stages of bioengineering tissues and entire organs from stem cells of adult rats and mice, said Dr. Jenny Zhang. Zhang directs the Microsurgical Core within the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Feinberg.
Once engineered, Zhang said her team will be able to test the functionality of such organs as transplants in the rodents. For now, Zhang and fellow researchers are using a biodegradable scaffold, a kind-of-skeleton of an organ with all living cells removed, to test the model.
By developing a