Monday, July 3, 2017

Artificial Bile Ducts Aren't Sexy but You Will Love them If You Need Them #Science #Health

This is an image of a mouse gallbladder following repair with a bioengineered patch of tissue incorporating human 'bile duct' cells, shown in green. The human bile duct cells have fully repaired and replaced the damaged mouse epithelium.

Credit: Fotis Sampaziotis

Note:  yes, yes, we see what else it looks like.  Most amusing, really.

Update:  I wonder if the image has deterred people since maybe they think it's just another dumb joke.

When your liver breaks, usually you're screwed if you can't get a transplant ... but ... take another look at the picture since that was a broken liver until the green human cells were added and they started growing.

Note:  liver transplantation is more recent than you may imagine since I remember a friend dying from liver disease about thirty years ago and there was no question of a transplant for him.  There's no need to relate the rest of that story since many others likely have one just like it.

There was similar science presented here within the last few months about successful use of the technique of engineered cells such that they started growing in the base (i.e. non-engineered) tissue.

Regrettably, this isn't a miracle cure for anyone suffering from such disease today but the picture gives good evidence of the research toward finding one.

Cambridge scientists have developed a new method for growing and transplanting artificial bile ducts that could in future be used to help treat liver disease in children, reducing the need for liver transplantation.

In research published in the journal Nature Medicine, the researchers grew 3D cellular structure which, once transplanted into mice, developed into normal, functioning bile ducts.

Science Daily:  Artificial bile ducts grown in lab and transplanted into mice could help treat liver disease

There's much more to the article for the interested student but we will go directly to the conclusion.

"Our work has the potential to transform the treatment of bile duct disorders," explains Professor Vallier. "At the moment, our only option is liver transplantation, so we are limited by the availability of healthy organs for transplantation. In future, we believe it will be possible to generate large quantities of bioengineered tissue that could replace diseased bile ducts and provide a powerful new therapeutic option without this reliance on organ transplants."

"This demonstrates the power of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine," adds Dr Sampaziotis. "These artificial bile ducts will not only be useful for transplanting, but could also be used to model other diseases of the bile duct and potentially develop and test new drug treatments."

- SD

Problems with immune system reactions have been characteristic of organ transplantation and the topic wasn't raised in the context of implanted engineered cells but it seems likely they don't trigger an immune reaction because the receiver's body grows more of them.  That wasn't stated but seems it should be the case.

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