‘Mini organs’ could help children
“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.