Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers engineer functioning small intestine in laboratory experiments

06.07.2011
The ability to create a new organ may someday lead to answers for babies with a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition

Researchers at The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles have successfully created a tissue-engineered small intestine in mice that replicates the intestinal structures of natural intestine—a necessary first step toward someday applying this regenerative medicine technique to humans.

The study led by Tracy C. Grikscheit, MD —"A Multicellular Approach Forms a Significant Amount of Tissue-Engineered Small Intestine in the Mouse"— has been published in the July issue of Tissue Engineering Part A, a premier biomedical journal.

"In this paper, we are able to report that we can grow tissue-engineered intestine in a mouse model, which opens the doors of basic biology to understand how to grow this tissue better," said Dr. Grikscheit, who is also an assistant professor of surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

As a pediatric surgeon, Dr. Grikscheit is concerned with finding solutions for some of her more vulnerable patients—newborns. Infants born prematurely are at increased risk for a gastrointestinal disease called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which occurs when the intestine is injured. The cause is unknown.

Early treatment of NEC is essential to stop the potentially life-threatening leakage of bacteria into the abdomen. Often, the only solution is surgical removal of the small intestine. However, this option leaves the baby dependent on intravenous feeding and at risk for liver damage from subsequent intravenous nutrition. Organ transplants are possible but not a long-term solution, with only a 50 percent chance the grafted intestine will last past the child's 5th birthday.

Dr. Grikscheit, a member of The Saban Research Institute's Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine program, envisions a better solution. "The small intestine is an exquisitely regenerative organ. The cells are constantly being lost and replaced over the course of our entire lives," she explained. "Why not harness that regenerative capacity to benefit these children?"

Working in the laboratory, the research team took samples of intestinal tissue from mice. This tissue was comprised of the layers of the various cells that make up the intestine — including muscle cells and the cells that line the inside, known as epithelial cells. The investigators then transplanted that mixture of cells within the abdomen on biodegradable polymers or "scaffolding."

What the team wanted to happen did — new, engineered small intestines grew and had all of the cell types found in native intestine. Because the transplanted cells had carried a green label, the scientists could identify which cells had been provided — and all of the major components of the tissue-engineered intestine derived from the implanted cells. Critically, the new organs contained the most essential components of the originals.

"What is novel about this research is that this tissue-engineered intestine contains every important cell type needed for functional intestine. For children with intestinal failure, we are always looking for long-term, durable solutions that will not require the administration of toxic drugs to ensure engraftment. This tissue-engineered intestine, which has all of the critical components of the mature intestine, represents a truly exciting albeit preliminary step in the right direction," said Henri Ford, MD, Vice President and Surgeon-in-Chief at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

"We demonstrated that we are providing all of the important cells—the muscle, nerve, epithelium, and some of the blood vessels," noted Frédéric Sala, PhD, lead author. "All of these are critical to proper functioning of the tissue, and now we know their origins." Next up are additional tissue-growing experiments—each one of which may bring that much closer the prospects of clinical testing and a solution for babies in need.

About Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children's hospital in California and among the best in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious US News & World Report Honor Roll. Children's Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States and is one of America's premier teaching hospitals, affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California since 1932.

For more information, visit www.CHLA.org. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, or visit our blog: www.WeAreCHLA.org.

Ellin Kavanagh | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.CHLA.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>