A new report brings bioengineered organs a step closer, as scientists from Stanford and New York University Langone Medical Center describe how they were able to use a “scaffolding” material extracted from the groin area of mice on which stem cells from blood, fat, and bone marrow grew. This advance clears two major hurdles to bioengineered replacement organs, namely a matrix on which stem cells can form a 3-dimensional organ and transplant rejection.
From left to right: A normal pig heart, a pig heart after being decellularised, the pig heart prepared for recellularisation. Photos courtesy of the University of Minnesota.
In a medical first, University researchers have created a beating heart in the laboratory. Using detergents, they stripped away the cells from rat hearts until only the nonliving matrix, or “skeleton,” was left; they then repopulated the matrix with fresh heart cells.
If perfected, the technique may be used someday to generate new hearts for patients. In the United States alone, about 5 million people live with heart failure, 550,000 new cases are
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It raises hopes that kidney disease patients will one day be able to grow their own new organs with no risk of rejection.
Kidneys 5mm long – the size of those in foetuses – were made using a combination of cells from amniotic fluid, which surrounds babies in the womb, and animal foetal cells.
It is hoped the organs could be grown to maturity if implanted in a patient. In future, people’s amniotic fluid could be retained at birth, allowing it to be used later if they develop kidney disease.
‘The idea is to start with human