Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MIT researchers find novel way to repair airway injuries

06.05.2008
Technique could apply to different parts of human body

MIT tissue engineers have successfully healed airway injuries in rabbits using a technique they believe could apply to the trachea and other parts of the human body.

The work, published in the advance online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of May 5, expands researchers’ understanding of the control of tissue repair and could lead to new treatments for tracheal injuries, such as smoke inhalation and damage from long-term intubation.

The new technique heals airway injuries by placing new tracheal cells around the injury site. Two types of tracheal cells, embedded within a three-dimensional gelatin scaffold, take over the functions of the damaged tissue.

“We can begin to replicate the regulatory role cells play within tissues by creating engineered constructs with more than one cell type,” said Elazer Edelman, the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and senior author of the paper.

Patents on the technique have been licensed to Pervasis, a company co-founded by Edelman, which develops cell-based therapies that induce repair and regeneration in a wide array of tissues.

The trachea and other respiratory tubes, like most tubes in the body, have an intricate, three-layer architecture. The inner layer, or epithelium, interacts with whatever is flowing through the tube; in the case of the trachea, air. The middle layer is composed of muscle that constricts or relaxes the tube, and the outer layer consists of connective tissue that supports microvessels and small nerves.

Most attempts at tissue regeneration seek to rebuild this complex architecture with structural precision.

However, the MIT researchers found that it is not necessary to recapture the ordered layering to heal injuries. Instead, they concentrated on restoring cellular health. When cells are intact and have regained their biological function, they need only reside near the injured tissue to enhance overall repair.

Edelman and colleagues achieved this repair state by delivering a mixture of new healthy cells derived from the epithelial lining and the nourishing blood vessels. The combination of epithelial and endothelial cells take over the biochemical role lost with cell damage. The healthy cells release growth factors and other molecules necessary for healing tissue, and can modulate their delivery in response to physiological feedback control signals.

“Cells are not just an array of bricks surrounded by mortar, nor are they passive drug pumps. Cells are active elements that respond to the dynamic changes of their environment with modulated secretion of critical factors. They don’t need to be stacked in one specific fashion to function, but they do need to be healthy and near the injured tissue,” said Edelman, who is also a professor at Harvard Medical School and cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

To get the best results, both epithelial and endothelial cells must be replaced in the injured airway. “One cell type can’t do it alone. With this complex disease, each regulatory cell offers something unique and together they optimize repair,” Edelman said.

The cells must also be grown within a 3D scaffold, otherwise, the two types of cells will stay segregated and will not work as effectively.

Because of the similarities between the trachea and other tubes in the body, such as those of the vascular, genitourinary and gastrointestinal systems, the researchers believe their approach could translate to other organs.

“We can apply this same approach to so many different parts of the body,” said Brett Zani, a postdoctoral associate in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and lead author of the paper.

Other authors are Koji Kojima and Charles Vacanti of the Laboratory of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

--by Anne Trafton, News Office

Teresa Herbert | MIT News Office
Further information:
http://www.mit.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Breakthrough in understanding how deadly pneumococcus avoids immune defenses
13.11.2018 | University of Liverpool

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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>