The Scotsman

‘Mini or­gans’ could help chil­dren

- Health · Pharmaceutical Industry · Medicine · Society · Science · Parenting · Industries · Family · Medical Treatments · Great Ormond Street Hospital · Stem Cell

“Mini or­gans” grown us­ing stem cells from a pa­tient’s tis­sue could of­fer hope for chil­dren with in­testi­nal fail­ure, a study sug­gests.

S c i e n t i s t s a t t h e F r a n c i s Crick In­sti­tute, Great Or­mond Street Hospi­tal and UCL Great Or mon d S t r e e t I n s t i t u t e o f C h i l d H e a l t h h a v e g r o w n hu­man in­testi­nal grafts us­ing stem cells from pa­tient tis­sue.

The team hope the find­ings could one day lead to per­son­alised trans­plants for chil­dren with in­testi­nal fail­ure.

Dr Vi­vian Li, se­nior au­thor and group leader of the Stem Cell and Cancer Bi­ol­ogy Lab­o­ra­tory at the Crick, said: “It’s ur­gent that we find new ways to care for chil­dren with­out a work­ing in­tes­tine be­cause, as they grow older, com­pli­ca­tions from parental nu­tri­tion can arise. We’ve set out a process to grow one layer of in­tes­tine in the lab­o­ra­tory, mov­ing us a step closer to be­ing able to of­fer th­ese pa­tients a form of re­gen­er­a­tive medicine.”

Chil­dren with in­testi­nal fail­ure can­not ab­sorb the nu­tri­ents es­sen­tial for their over­all health and devel­op­ment, re­searchers said.

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