Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bioengineering: Growing Organs on Scaffolding

Tissue Engineering is something that scientists have been dreaming of for years --but just in the last few days an announcement that bladders engineered in the laboratory from patients' own cells and then implanted into the body have succeeded in their first clinical trial.

To create the new bladders, the researchers took a biopsy from patients whose bladders functioned poorly due to an inherited nervous system disorder. The team then placed muscle cells and cells from the bladder lining on a biodegradable bladder-shaped scaffold and allowed them to grow for about two months.

Scientists are also working on growing bio-engineered hearts and pancreases in the lab. In addition, an artificial womb is being tested at Cornell.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been following tissue engineering efforts for some time and I believe the complexity of organs runs from bladder at the low end to liver at the high end. What I wonder is where does penile tissue fall in that spectrum? When the tissue engineers achieve this milestone, they will have assured themselves of nearly unlimited funds, as every insurance plan in the country would begin providing full coverage.

Yours in jest?
Devin

Linda MacDonald Glenn said...

Really! LOL!