How to make human organs with own cells.
Henry Fountain highlights developments in Tissue Engineering in NYTimes Organs Tailor-made with Body’s Own Cells.
Paolo Macchiarini at Karolinska Institute built a human windpipe using the patients’ own cells (with a polymer base).
If the cells are surviving, that means the windpipe is developing a complex network of tiny blood vessels through the same regenerative process that produced the specialized cells. All tissues must have such a network so that every cell can get oxygen and nutrients. But developing one — or ensuring that one develops — is an enormous challenge for tissue engineers.
Because the need for this kind of work is potentially so enormous, “we cannot pretend that we can reseed with the specific cells outside the body,” he said. Instead, he envisions developing even better scaffolds and implanting them without cells, relying on drugs to stimulate the body to send cells to the site.
His ultimate dream is to eliminate even the synthetic scaffold. Instead, drugs would enable the body to rebuild its own scaffold.
“Don’t touch the patient,” Dr. Macchiarini said. “Just use his body to recreate his own organ. It would be fantastic.”
Tags: make body organs, how to make human organs, tissue engineering human organs, tailor-made organs, paolo macchiarini body organs, paolo macchiarini karolinska institute