Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Experimental Cultured Organs Function Well in Patients For Years

And they were grown without using stem cells.

From the Washington Post:
Researchers said yesterday that they have grown complete urinary bladders in a laboratory and transplanted them into patients, improving their health and achieving a Holy Grail of medicine: the first cultivation of working replacements for failing solid organs in people.

The "neo-bladders," each one grown in a small laboratory container from a pinch of a patient's own cells, have been working in seven young patients for an average of almost four years, according to a report released yesterday by the British journal the Lancet. The organs have remained free of the many complications that bedevil the conventional practice of surgically constructing bladders from other tissues.
I recall reading about the tiny, bio-degradable "scaffolds" used for early forming of the organs in Scientific American some time ago - read the Post story for details of the "neo-bladders'" construction. This is a triumph of engineering, as well as medical research.

Also posted at The Jawa Report and Vince Aut Morire.