07 December 2018
In a new study, Tel Aviv University (Israel) researchers reveal how they invented the first fully personalized tissue implant, engineered from a patient’s own materials and cells. The new technology makes it possible to engineer any kind of tissue implant from one small fatty tissue biopsy.
The research, conducted by Prof. Reuven Edri, was recently published in scientific journal ‘Advanced Materials’. Currently, in tissue engineering for regenerative medicine, cells are isolated from the patient and cultured in biomaterials to assemble into a functional tissue. These biomaterials are always either synthetic or natural, derived from plants or animals. After transplantation, they may induce an immune response that leads to rejection of the implanted tissue. Patients receiving engineered tissues or any other implants are treated with immuno-suppressors, which themselves endanger the health of the patient.
The researchers extracted a small biopsy of fatty tissue from patients, then separated its cellular and a-cellular materials. While the cells were reprogrammed to become induced pluripotent stem cells – able to make cells from all three basic body layers, so they can potentially produce any cell or tissue the body needs to repair itself — the extracellular material was processed to become a personalized hydrogel. After combining the resulting stem cells and the hydrogel, the scientists successfully engineered the personalized tissue samples and tested the patients’ immune responses to them.
The scientists are currently engaged in regenerating an injured spinal cord and an infarcted heart with spinal cord and cardiac implants. They have also begun to investigate the potential of human dopaminergic implants to treat Parkinson’s disease in animal models. The researchers plan to regenerate other organs, including intestines and eyes, using the patients’ own materials and cells.Print
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