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Researchers engineer functioning small intestine in laboratory experiments
Date:7/5/2011

ed 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 cellsthe muscle, nerve, epithelium, and some of the blood vessels," noted Frdric 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 experimentseach one of which may bring that much closer the prospects of clinical testing and a solution for babies in nee
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Contact: Ellin Kavanagh
ekavanagh@chla.usc.edu
323-361-8505
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert  

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