Researchers at Harvard Medical School have utilized stem cells to grow a functional small intestine in a lab. Using human stem cells, the researchers were able to differentiate them into intestinal cells and induced them to form a fully functional intestinal tissue. Previous studies have been successful at growing miniscule segments of the organ, but this innovative study has homed in on a method for compiling smaller, stem cell-derived tissue into an organoid that could soon be available to use in transplants as replacement for damaged organs. Patients who suffer from gastrointestinal tract ailments could benefit from this, in addition to patients who have had portions of their digestive tracts removed due to cancer.
Given the success of tissue generation shown in this experiment, Associate Professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, Harald Ott, comments, “The next steps will be to further mature these grafts and to scale the construct to a human size, so that someday we may be able to provide a more accessible alternative to small bowel transplantation for patients with short bowel syndrome—ideally growing ‘on-demand’ patient-specific grafts that would not require immunosuppressive drugs.” Additionally, as work proceeds on scaling the organoids to human size for transplantation, they can be utilized for more effective and efficient drug and treatment testing, given that they mimic the human condition better than animal models can.
Advances in stem cell based regenerative treatments are creating more effective treatment options for patients suffering from a wide variety of disease, trauma and injury. To learn more about stem cells, and how families can bank their own valuable stem cells by recovering the very powerful dental pulp stem cells during routine dental procedures; such as wisdom teeth extractions or the during the loss of baby teeth, visit StemSave or call 877-783-6728 (877-StemSave) today.
The Future of Regenerative Medicine is Now™
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