(Image is courtesy of Department of Histology, Jagiellonian University Medical College via Wikimedia)
There people out there living in uncertainty, wondering how much they have left–will they find a matching donor for organ transplant. It is a terrible thing and feeling when your life depend on strangers, in hope one of them is a match. This why scientists have tirelessly continue to research on the stem cells as an alternative for various medical conditions plaguing people around the world.
It is not not until in recent years many scientists, scientists at Edinburgh University to be exact in this case. Scientists there stated that one day it is possible lab-grown tissue could replace the need for transplant.
This possible because stem cells arrange themselves in three-dimensional structure when a scaffold or mold of some sort is offered. The ability to grow organ in labs is the big goal that the scientific and medical community are currently trying to achieve.
The ability to do so will greatly change the lives of both patients and the medical team as the need for transplant procedure and chances for patients to combat and survive from the fatal health issues they’re suffering from.
The current stage of development for stem cells is at the point where scientists are trying to grow stem cells into liver cells. Though the stem cells required a backbone, scaffold in order to form three dimensional structure. So the scientists created a fiber mesh that was one centimeter square and a few millimeter thick. The human stem cells were grown for 60 days before loaded onto the scaffold to form their desired three dimensional structure.
Once completed, the formed structure then implanted under the skin of mice with potentially fatal genetic disorder disease called tyrosinemia. Mice with these implants showed signs of having fewer liver damage, lost of weight and low toxins level in their blood. According to scientists this indicates that stem cells, or lab grown cell can help to combat disease such as tyrosinemia, fifth biggest killer in United Kingdom.
As of currently, the only way to combat it is via transplant, though it can take months or even years before a patient could find a matching donor because the waiting list is very long. The less fortunate passed away before they could get a matching donor. The very reason these scientists been working hard to develop further lab grown cells from experimental stage to real and actual use in hospitals and medical institutions.