DAVID GRANOVSKY

Archive for July 15th, 2010|Daily archive page

“Dwarf’s (lung) standing on the shoulders of giant’s (heart)”

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on July 15, 2010 at 1:12 pm

“Dwarf’s (lung) standing on the shoulders of giant’s (heart)”

(Latin: nanos gigantium humeris insidentes) is a Western metaphor meaning “One who develops future intellectual pursuits by understanding the research and works created by notable thinkers of the past.

A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant

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Lungssss, get yer lungs here!

Soon enough, organs grown from YOUR OWN stem cells will be available at a store near you.  What began as the outlandish quest of one woman in 1998…one woman who swam against a huge tidal flow of scientists and doctors telling her she was out of her mind…is now, almost 20 years later, hitting mainstream science, academia and media.

Who is this woman and what did she do?  You’ve probably never heard of her (unless you’ve read my book – “Super Stemmys) but she will most likely go down in history as the mother of 21st century patient specific organ regeneration. Organs, btw, that are both rejection free and require no immunosuppressive drugs. In other words…

YOUR OWN organs grown from YOUR OWN stem cells.”

Here’s how it all started…

1998 – Dr Doris Taylor takes stem cells from the thigh of a rabbit, injects them into scar tissue in the animal’s heart and repairs the damaged muscle.  Published in Nature Medicine.

2002 – Dr Taylor herself witnessed, in Rotterdam, the first patient in the world to get stem cells injected through a catheter into the wall of the heart. Encouraging results began to come in—improved ejection fractions, reduced diameters, thicker muscle tissue.

2005 – Advancements continue as Dr Taylor rinses rat hearts with detergent until the cells washed away and all that remained was a skeleton of tissue translucent as wax paper. She then injected the scaffold with fresh heart (stem) cells from newborn rats.  Four days later, “We could see these little areas that were beginning to beat.  By eight days, we could see the whole heart beating.”  The experiment, reported in the journal Nature Medicine, marked the first time scientists had created a functioning heart in the lab from biological tissue.

Read it again! Doctor Doris Taylor grew a new heart in a lab 5 YEARS AGO!

So congrats to the docs at Harvard Medical School for growing a lung…just don’t forget that Dr Doris Taylor’s heart is the giant on whose shoulders your lung is standing. -dg

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Stem cell scientists unveil lab-grown lung – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

By Kellie Lazzaro

Updated Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:04am AEST

Harvard doctors used stem cells to generate the organ. (Supplied: Harald C Ott)

A decellularized rat lung. Harvard doctors have used stem cells to generate the artificial organ

Artificial lung: a recellularized lung in a bioreactor during organ culture (Supplied: Harald C Ott)

Artificial lung: a recellularized lung in a bioreactor during organ culture (Supplied: Harald C Ott)

First breath: the recellularized rat lung takes in air at the end of the organ culture period (Supplied: Harald C Ott )

American researchers have provided some hope for the hundreds of Australians languishing on organ-transplant waiting lists.

Doctors at the Harvard Medical School have used stem cells to construct a miniature lung, which functioned for up to six hours when transplanted into a rat.

Lung transplant specialists say the research is a significant breakthrough in efforts to develop ways to expand the organ donor pool.

For the 50 million people worldwide with end-stage lung disease, the only definitive treatment is a transplant.

Kate Hayne, 66, waited four years for a double lung transplant after she was diagnosed with bronchiectasis.

“You’re waiting for the phone to ring and it doesn’t ring and you’re life is getting narrower and narrower because you can do less and less and less,” she said.

“You’re basically waiting to die … and a lot of people do die.

“I met some lovely people who didn’t survive the wait.”

It is hoped the research by the Harvard Medical School in Boston will go some way towards improving the chances of survival.

Dr Harald Ott and his team removed the cells from a rat lung and rebuilt the organ blueprint using human umbilical and foetal rat cells.

Within about a week that lung began exchanging oxygen like normal lungs and was transplanted into a rat where it continued functioning for six hours.

“There’s a lot of work to do in up scaling this now from rats to human-sized organs,” he said.

“But I think that we are looking at a situation where over the next five to 10 years we might be seeing more regenerated products to actually hit the patients’ side.”

Professor Allan Glanville, the medical head of lung transplantation at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, says specialists in Australia are watching with interest.

“This is extraordinarily exciting work and it lays the groundwork for the beginning of the development of a inartificial lung that might benefit so many people,” he said.

Dr Michael Musk, who heads the West Australian Lung Transplant program, agrees the research is a huge step forward.

“It hopefully means we don’t need the degree or amount of immunosuppression required, which is associated with a lot of side effects,” he said.

“It would not only improve donor pool, but also improve the quality of life.”

The research is published today in the journal Nature Medicine (see Technical Report abstract below).

via Stem cell scientists unveil lab-grown lung – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).


Nature Medicine
Published online: 13 July 2010 | doi:10.1038/nm.2193

Regeneration and orthotopic transplantation of a bioartificial lung

Harald C Ott1, Ben Clippinger1, Claudius Conrad1, Christian Schuetz1, Irina Pomerantseva1, Laertis Ikonomou2, Darrell Kotton2 & Joseph P Vacanti1


About 2,000 patients now await a donor lung in the United States. Worldwide, 50 million individuals are living with end-stage lung disease. Creation of a bioartificial lung requires engineering of viable lung architecture enabling ventilation, perfusion and gas exchange. We decellularized lungs by detergent perfusion and yielded scaffolds with acellular vasculature, airways and alveoli. To regenerate gas exchange tissue, we seeded scaffolds with epithelial and endothelial cells. To establish function, we perfused and ventilated cell-seeded constructs in a bioreactor simulating the physiologic environment of developing lung. By day 5, constructs could be perfused with blood and ventilated using physiologic pressures, and they generated gas exchange comparable to that of isolated native lungs. To show in vivo function, we transplanted regenerated lungs into orthotopic position. After transplantation, constructs were perfused by the recipient’s circulation and ventilated by means of the recipient’s airway and respiratory muscles, and they provided gas exchange in vivo for up to 6 h after extubation.


To read this technical report in full you will need to login or make a payment at Nature Medicine.  – http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nm.2193.html

The Cardiomyopathy Association | Dogs with cardiomyopathy in stem cell study

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on July 15, 2010 at 10:09 am

Dogs with cardiomyopathy in stem cell study

Doberman pinschers with dilated cardiomyopathy are to undergo stem cell treatment in America

Doberman pinschers with early stage dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) are to undergo stem cell treatment to help improve their hearts.

Up to 15 dogs are to be treated at the University of Florida’s Veterinary Medical Centre with $72,000 in support from the Doberman Pinscher Club of America.

The chief of the centre’s cardiology service, Amara Estrada, said “Dobermans have the highest prevalence of dilated cardiomyopathy of any breed of dog and also the most devastating course. So this was the most important and emergent group to focus on.”

It is then hoped the research team can pursue larger-scale clinical trials for Dobermans with DCM.

Research has already suggested that stem-cell transplants can help left ventricular pump function in both animals and humans who have had heart attacks.

All the dogs in the study will be anaesthetised and researchers will inject cells via a catheter into the heart. There will be follow-up checks at one month, six months, 12 months and 18 months.

If the new technique is effective, it may result in less expensive treatment compared to open heart surgery, said Dr Estrada.

Down the road, researchers may expand the studies to include other dog breeds in the hope of achieving beneficial results for all dogs.

The procedure ultimately could be available to veterinary specialists some day, she added.

Cardiomyopathy is common in many breeds of dog.

via The Cardiomyopathy Association | Dogs with cardiomyopathy in stem cell study.

Banks of off-the-shelf body parts could be created for transplants: researchers – Telegraph

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on July 15, 2010 at 10:04 am

Banks of off-the-shelf body parts could be created for transplants: researchers

Off-the-shelf body parts could soon be available for surgeons to use to repair injuries or patch-up worn out organs, researchers claim.

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor

Published: 7:50AM BST 14 Jul 2010

Photo: ALAMY

Scientists are perfecting ways of creating bare ‘scaffold’ building blocks of body parts which can then be used as a frame for a patient’s own cells to grow around.

The technique involves taking a piece of dead donor or animal body part and removing all the soft tissue so just the bare structure is left. Stem cells from the patient can then be placed on the frame and will regrow into a new body part for them.

The technique has already been successful in creating a new section of windpipe for patients who have suffered injury or disease and it is hoped it can be used for a wider set of organs.

Experts said the scaffold for the most commonly used parts could be created in advance and stored ready for use when needed.

Prof John Fisher from The University of Leeds spoke at a stem cell conference of the potential to create banks of scaffolds of all kinds of body tissue so surgeons can then finish them off with a covering of tissue grown from the patient before they are implanted.

He told the UK National Stem Cell Network Annual Science Meeting in Nottingham of work he and his colleague Prof Eileen Ingham have been working on to create the scaffolds from dead donors or animals.

So far, patches to cover a hole or weakening in a blood vessel, knee cartilage and tendons have been created.

The advantage of the method is that the patient will not reject the transplanted tissue as foreign because the scaffold is stripped of all material that can trigger rejection and the soft tissue is grown from their own stem cells.

It means patients can avoid powerful immunosurpressant drugs which shorten life expectancy and can increase the risk of cancer.

Scaffolds derived from human donor tissue are being developed by the NHS Blood & Transplant Tissue Services, while scaffolds developed from animal tissues are being developed and commercialised by Tissue Regenix Group PLC.

Prof Fisher said: “If you take a natural tissue and strip off all of the donor’s cells you’re left with a biological scaffold made mostly of a protein called collagen, which is compatible with the patient receiving the scaffold.

“That scaffold is good from an engineering perspective because it’s strong, flexible and retains the properties of the natural tissue. It also has the appropriate shape and size, and from a biological perspective is good because a patient’s cells can bind to it and repopulate it easily.”

The transplants are also expected to last longer than those in use currently because the technique overcomes the problem of rejection.

Prof Fisher said chemically treated and strengthened prosthetic heart valves from pigs, for example, have been in used in human transplants for more than a decade, but the chemical process which stops them from being rejected by the patient’s immune system also leaves them lifeless so they degrade over time and need to be replaced.

He added:”These new biological scaffolds will provide off-the-shelf tissues for surgeons for repairing blood vessels after surgery for blocked arteries, for repairing knee cartilage after sporting injuries and cartilage tears, for repairing torn ligaments or tendons and for heart valve repair or replacement.”

Other more complex structures like a voicebox could be replaced in the same way but the demand for such specialist transplants is more limited and so it is unlikely bio-tech companies would make scaffolds for these in advance and store them.

via Banks of off-the-shelf body parts could be created for transplants: researchers – Telegraph.

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