Navigation Links
MU research team makes progress toward 'printing' organs
Date:11/6/2007

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Each year, pharmaceutical companies invest millions of dollars to test drugs, many of which will never reach the market because of side effects found only during human clinical trials. At the same time, the number of patients waiting for organ transplants continues to increase. In the past 10 years, this number has nearly doubled. Now, a new study led by a University of Missouri-Columbia physics researcher might present new solutions to both problems with the help of a very special printer.

For the past four years, Gabor Forgacs, the George H. Vineyard Professor of Physics in the MU College of Arts and Science, has been working to refine the process of printing tissue structures of complex shape with the aim of eventually building human organs. In the latest study, a research team led by Forgacs determined that the process of building such structures by printing does not harm the properties of the composing cells and the process mimics the naturally occurring biological assembly of living tissues.

In the study, the team used bio-ink particles, or spheres containing 10,000 to 40,000 cells, and assembled, or printed, them on to sheets of organic, cell friendly bio-paper. Once printed, the spheres began to fuse in the bio-paper into one structure, much the same way that drops of water will fuse to form a larger drop of water.

If you wait for a long time, eventually all the small spheres will fuse into one large sphere, Forgacs said. To prevent that from happening, we can remove the bio-paper and stop the fusion process once the desired shape has formed. Through this bio-printing process, we were able to build, for the first time, functional tissue structures.

In the past, there have been two concerns with printing extended tissue structures using large amounts of cells. First, scientists needed to determine how to get specific cells to the correct locations within the structures. Second, even though the right cells might be in the right place within the structure, there was a problem of function. How do you make an organ start working?

As the Mizzou research team found in the study, there appears to be no need to worry about either of these concerns. As the tissue structure begins to form, the cells go through a natural process called sorting, which is natures way of determining where specific cells need to be. For example, an artery has three specific types of cells endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and fibroblast cells, each type needing to be in a specific location in the artery. As thousands and thousands of cells are added to the bio-paper under controlled conditions, the cells migrate automatically to their specific locations to make the structure form correctly.

The team also found that nature was the answer to the second question. In the study, scientists took cells from a chicken heart and used them to form bio-ink particles, which were then printed on to thick sheets. Heart cells must be synchronized for the heart to beat properly. When the bio-ink particles were first printed, the cells did not beat in unison, but as the cellular spheroids fused, the structure eventually started beating just as a heart does.

This study shows that we can use multiple cell types and that we do not have to control what happens when the cells fuse together, Forgacs said. Nature is smart enough to do the job.

The study is being published in an upcoming edition of Tissue Engineering and was funded by a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Forgacs also has become involved with a company, Organovo, Inc., which is interested in licensing the technology. He also plans to work with drug companies to provide them with tissues they can use to test drugs, prior to human clinical trials.

Currently, drugs are tested first on animals and then go through a human clinical stage. Because of the major differences in biological function, humans often have different reactions than animals. Forgacs believes that providing human tissue structures that resemble organs to the drug companies will make drug testing cheaper and much more efficient.


'/>"/>

Contact: Christian Basi
BasiC@missouri.edu
573-882-4430
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
2. Children of depressed moms do better when dad is involved, SLU researcher finds
3. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
4. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
5. New research shows how chronic stress worsens neurodegenerative disease course
6. New research explores newborn in-hospital weight loss
7. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
8. Bipolar disorder relapses halved by Melbourne researchers
9. HIVs impact in Zimbabwe explored in new research
10. U.S. Research Funding Continues to Flatten as U.S. Health Costs Climb - in August 31 Science
11. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... NexTec Group has been selected as a member of ... their accomplishments in the field of midmarket financial software. , Members of the VAR ... Selection is not based on revenue and those firms chosen represent a wide range ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) is ... services. Albertsons Companies is the largest national food and drug chain with ... Accreditation by ACHC reflects Albertsons Companies’ dedication and commitment to meeting national standards ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... , ... The Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Climbing Gym is excited to announce ... the 14,000+ square foot climbing gym, the owners anticipate to open sometime in February ... and two in New York. With this being its first location in Pennsylvania, The ...
(Date:1/14/2017)... ... 14, 2017 , ... AgileMinder develops innovative products and services that bring "Care, ... available on Apple as a fun, free emoji sticker pack for iMessage. Use the ... ten color coded values on The Emoji Scale. , On Apple: "The Emoji ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... January 13, 2017 , ... A January 10 article in ... according to the publication, with an emphasis on some new techniques that the publication ... who is known more casually to his patients and colleagues as Dr. J, comments ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/16/2017)... , January 16, 2017 Bill is ... number of general management and leadership positions with global medical device ... a strong track record of launching new products and building successful ... , Africa and North ... ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... -- Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CPIX) is pleased to announce ... to its Board of Directors. He is the President ... LLC . He is also the Chief Investment Officer ... firm with over $1.5 billion under management. ... analysis and portfolio management. He began his career in ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... , Jan. 14, 2017 ImmersiveTouch Inc., ... for surgeons, today announced recent appointments strengthening their Executive ... James Bowman as Chief Executive Officer, Jay ... as Vice President of Sales and Jia ... Mr. Bowman has 20 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: