Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MIT engineers report new approach to tissue engineering

14.10.2003


MIT engineers report a new approach to creating three-dimensional samples of human tissue that could push researchers closer to their ultimate goal: tissues for therapeutic applications and replacement organs. The technique could also help answer questions in cell and developmental biology.



The team "seeded" human embryonic stem cells, which have the potential to differentiate into a variety of specialized cells, onto a biodegradable polymer scaffold. By treating the scaffold/stem cell structure with chemical cues, or growth factors, known to stimulate the formation of specific cell types, the researchers coaxed the stem cells to form tissues with characteristics of developing human cartilage, liver, nerves and blood vessels.

"Here we show for the first time that polymer scaffolds … promoted proliferation, differentiation and organization of human embryonic stem cells into 3D structures," the researchers wrote in a paper to appear the week of Oct. 13 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Further, the resulting tissues continued to thrive when implanted in mice with suppressed immune systems (to eliminate rejection). They expressed human proteins, and integrated with the host’s blood-vessel networks.

"For me it was very exciting to see that these [stem] cells could move around and start to ’talk’ with one another, generating the different cell types common to a given tissue and organizing into that tissue," said Shulamit Levenberg, first author of the paper and a research associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

The technique could also have an impact on the study of cell and developmental biology. "When you give cells a three-dimensional structure [on which to grow], it’s really a lot more like what’s happening in the embryo," said Levenberg, a mother of four whose youngest child is seven months old.

Levenberg’s colleagues on the work are Robert Langer, the Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering; MIT alumna Ngan Huang (S.B. 2002); Erin Lavik, a postdoctoral fellow in the MIT-Harvard Division of Health Sciences and Technology who is now a professor at Yale; Arlin Rogers of MIT’s Division of Comparative Medicine; and Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor of the Technion in Israel.

The work provides a new approach to prodding stem cells to grow into different tissues. Before, researchers created a variety of cell types from one batch of stem cells, then isolated the cell type of interest. The isolated cells were then grown on a given medium, such as a polymer scaffold. The same MIT team did just that last year with the endothelial cells that blood vessels are composed of.

This time around, the MIT researchers seeded stem cells directly into the scaffold. "We found that with different growth factors, we could push them in different directions," said Levenberg.

The polymer scaffold is key. "The scaffold provides physical cues for cell orientation and spreading, and pores provide space for remodeling of tissue structures," the researchers wrote.

The scaffold was carefully engineered. "If the scaffold is too soft," for example, "it collapses under the cells’ mechanical forces," said Levenberg. The team also used two different polymers to create the scaffold. "One degrades quickly, the other more slowly," she said. "That gives cells room to grow while still retaining a support structure for them."

The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health. The human embryonic stem cells are from an NIH-approved line.

Elizabeth A. Thomson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/www/

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht New technology for ultra-smooth polymer films
28.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

nachricht Diamond watch components
18.06.2018 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>