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Designer organs come closer to reality

Washington: In a new surgical experiment, researchers had transplanted growing human intestinal 'organoids' into mice that could be useful one day for designing and producing organ parts for repairing diseased tissues using a patient's own skin cells.

Scientists in Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center said that the findings could eventually lead to bioengineering personalized human intestinal tissue to treat gastrointestinal diseases.

Michael Helmrath, MD, MS, lead investigator and surgical director of the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program at Cincinnati Children's said that they used induced 'pluripotent' stem cells '(iPSCs)' - which could become any tissue type in the body to generate the intestinal 'organoids.'

The human 'organoids' were then engrafted into the capsule of the kidney of a mouse, providing a necessary blood supply that had allowed the organoid cells to grow into fully mature human intestinal tissue.

Mice that were used in the study were genetically engineered so their immune systems would accept the introduction of human tissues and each mouse in the study had produced significant amounts of fully functional, fully human intestine.

The new findings eventually could be good news for people born with genetic defects affecting their digestive systems or people who have lost intestinal function from cancer, as well as Crohn's disease. other related inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), eliminate the risk and expense of life-long medications to prevent transplant rejection and could have other, more immediate benefits by accelerating drug development and the concept of personalized medicine.

The findings were published online in Nature Medicine.


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