Posts Tagged ‘scaffold’



On NBC tonight at 8pm EST!

The first stem cell generated windpipe was implanted in 2008.
Six long years later, the technique has been improved significantly and has hit main stream media. 


“Macchiarini’s team began by collecting stem cells from Beyene’s bone marrow. Those cells were mixed with special growth factors and then poured onto a scaffold made from plastic — in fact, the very same plastic that is used to make soda bottles — which had been made to mimic the shape of a real windpipe.  In just a matter of days, the scaffold began to transform into an actual functioning windpipe.”

Some attack those pushing the boundaries, citing that the surgery is experimental and unproven.  But the Dr can’t stand by as patients die when he can do something about it and can’t ignore their pleas for a chance at the hope of recovery.  This is cutting edge of medicine and there are thousands of clinical trials and studies and 10s to 100s of thousands of patients treated, most outside of the US.  There are no guarantees.  There are always risks, even with rigorously tested pharmaceutical drugs and treatment protocols that have been used for decades.  But for chronic and terminal patients who are given no chance for recovery, experimental sounds like a pretty great option.

Historically, new treatments have always been met with resistance.

“Tom Starzl, when he started doing liver transplants, the first seven, eight, nine patients all died. Everybody said he was nuts, OK? Christian Barnard, when he started doing heart transplants, everyone threw rocks at him. This is how we’re going to treat diseases in the future and this is the start of it.”

Anything which pushes the envelop of contemporary knowledge will be rejected by those clinging to traditional concepts…but without pioneering doctors and even more pioneering patients, willing to take risks, medical protocols can not advance.  I salute the doctor and the patients who are the ground-breaking pioneers in the new land of regenerative medicine.  And what can their mutual risk do for the patient and millions to follow?

“One of Macchiarini’s most promising success stories is Claudia Castillo, a Spanish mother who is doing so well six years after her transplant that an increasing number of Macchiarini’s colleagues are beginning to see him in a new light.”

Thank you!

To watch the video and learn more:


Organ Regeneration from Stem Cells

In ALL ARTICLES on September 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

The Big Idea:

Organ Regeneration

Photo: Growing an ear

Miracle Grow

In the future people who need a body part may get their own back—regrown in the lab from their own cells.

By Josie Glausiusz
Photograph by Rebecca Hale, NGM Staff

Above: The synthetic scaffold of an ear sits bathed in cartilage-producing cells, part of an effort to grow new ears for wounded soldiers.

More than 100,000 people are waiting for organ transplants in the U.S. alone; every day 18 of them die. Not only are healthy organs in short supply, but donor and patient also have to be closely matched, or the patient’s immune system may reject the transplant. A new kind of solution is incubating in medical labs: “bioartificial” organs grown from the patient’s own cells. Thirty people have received lab-grown bladders already, and other engineered organs are in the pipeline.

The bladder technique was developed by Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Researchers take healthy cells from a patient’s diseased bladder, cause them to multiply profusely in petri dishes, then apply them to a balloon-shaped scaffold made partly of collagen, the protein found in cartilage. Muscle cells go on the outside, urothelial cells (which line the urinary tract) on the inside. “It’s like baking a layer cake,” says Atala. “You’re layering the cells one layer at a time, spreading these toppings.” The bladder-to-be is then incubated at body temperature until the cells form functioning tissue. The whole process takes six to eight weeks.

Solid organs with lots of blood vessels, such as kidneys or livers, are harder to grow than hollow ones like bladders. But Atala’s group—which is working on 22 organs and tissues, including ears—recently made a functioning piece of human liver. One tool they use is similar to an ink-jet printer; it “prints” different types of cells and the organ scaffold one layer at a time.

Other labs are also racing to make bioartificial organs. A jawbone has sprouted at Columbia University and a lung at Yale. At the University of Minnesota, Doris Taylor has fabricated a beating rat heart, growing cells from one rat on a scaffold she made from the heart of another by washing off its own cells. And at the University of Michigan, H. David Humes has created an artificial kidney from cells seeded onto a synthetic scaffold. The cell-phone-size kidney has passed tests on sheep—it’s not yet implantable, but it’s wearable, unlike a dialysis machine, and it does more than filter toxins from blood. It also makes hormones and performs other kidney functions.

Growing a copy of a patient’s organ may not always be possible—for instance, when the original is too damaged by cancer. One solution for such patients might be a stem cell bank. Atala’s team has shown that stem cells can be collected without harming human embryos (and thus without political controversy) from amniotic fluid in the womb. The researchers have coaxed those cells into becoming heart, liver, and other organ cells. A bank of 100,000 stem cell samples, Atala says, would have enough genetic variety to match nearly any patient. Surgeons would order organs grown as needed instead of waiting for cadavers that might not be a perfect match. “There are few things as devastating for a surgeon as knowing you have to replace the tissue and you’re doing something that’s not ideal,” says Atala, a urologic surgeon himself. “Wouldn’t it be great if they had their own organ?” Great for the patient especially, he means.

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.

Brain Reconstruction: Stem-Cell Scaffolding Can Repair Stroke Damage | 80beats | Discover Magazine


Adult stem cells plug the holes in strokes – dg


Brain Reconstruction: Stem-Cell Scaffolding Can Repair Stroke Damage

Researchers have developed a treatment based on an injection of neural stem cells encased in a biodegradable polymer that replaced the brain tissue in rats that had been damaged by stroke. Led by British neurobiologist Mike Modo, the team was able to show that the hole in the brains of rats caused by a stroke was completely filled with “primitive” new nerve tissue within seven days. This raises the possibility of radically better treatments for a condition that is the leading cause of adult disability in industrialized countries [Technology Review].

via Brain Reconstruction: Stem-Cell Scaffolding Can Repair Stroke Damage | 80beats | Discover Magazine.

New ‘bioscaffold’ technique may help stem cells build solid organs

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on March 6, 2009 at 2:00 am

bioscaffold“In the long run, they hope to encourage the cells to become entire transplantable organs such as livers or pancreases.”

Stanford Report, March 4, 2009 -BY KRISTA CONGER

Stem cells can thrive in segments of well-vascularized tissue temporarily removed from laboratory animals, say researchers at the School of Medicine. Once the cells have nestled into the tissue’s nooks and crannies, the so-called “bioscaffold” can then be seamlessly reconnected to the animal’s circulatory system.

The new technique neatly sidesteps a fundamental stumbling block in tissue engineering: the inability to generate solid organs from stem cells in the absence of a reliable supply of blood to the interior of the developing structure.

“Efforts to use tissue engineering to generate whole organs have largely failed,” said Geoffrey Gurtner, MD, associate professor of surgery, “primarily due to the lack of available blood vessels. Now we’ve essentially hijacked an existing structure to overcome this problem.” The key, the researchers discovered, is to keep the tissue adequately supplied with oxygen and nutrients while outside of the body.

In the near future, the researchers believe that the stem cells in the tissue could be induced to become an internal, living factory of healthy, specialized cells churning out proteins missing in people with genetic conditions such as hemophilia or diabetes. In the long run, they hope to encourage the cells to become entire transplantable organs such as livers or pancreases.

via New ‘bioscaffold’ technique may help stem cells build solid organs.

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