Sunday, October 14, 2012

Body Building: Scientists Begin to Make Organs

In Sweden doctors were able to engineer and create a windpipe for a patient with a tumor that was not responding to chemotherapy and radiation. The patient was out of options until Paolo Macciarini had the idea to create a bioartificial windpipe using the patients own cells and plastic. This was the first-of-its-kind procedure in the field of regenerative medicine.

Now the technologies used to create a windpipe are being replicated with more complex organs. Macciarini’s technique was to take the bodies cells and then let them do most of the regeneration. Most of the organs created with this new field of “tissue engineering” were small and hollow organs like the windpipe and bladder.

Artificial organs of the past are almost robotized. This new field seeks to create organs that are not merely machines. At first Macciarini’s lab took cadaver organs and replanted them with the living cells of patients. Then they decided to replace the cadaver scaffold with plastic scaffolds. They gave life to this plastic scaffold by using Macciarini’s stem cells.

This opens the doors for so much more exploration. The windpipe was only the first case of what will hopefully become an accessible and reliable innovation.
Scientist Make Progress in Tailor-Made Organs

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