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Scientists grow human esophagus in lab

Date: 21.9.2018 

Scientists working to bioengineer the entire human gastrointestinal system in a laboratory now report using pluripotent stem cells to grow human esophageal organoids. 
Kredit: Cincinnati Childrens.

The study is the latest advancement from researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Medicine (CuSTOM). The center is developing new ways to study birth defects and diseases that affect millions of people with gastrointestinal disorders, such as gastric reflux, cancer, etc. The work is leading to new personalized diagnostic methods and focused in part on developing regenerative tissue therapies to treat or cure GI disorders.

The newly published research is the first time scientists have been able to grow human esophageal tissue entirely from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), which can form any tissue type in the body, according to the authors. Cincinnati Children's scientists and their multi-institutional collaborators already have used PSCs to bioengineer human intestine, stomach, colon and liver.

"Disorders of the esophagus and trachea are prevalent enough in people that organoid models of human esophagus could be greatly beneficial," said Jim Wells, PhD, chief scientific officer at CuSTOM and study lead investigator. "In addition to being a new model to study birth defects like esophageal atresia, the organoids can be used to study diseases like eosinophilic esophagitis and Barrett's metaplasia, or to bioengineer genetically matched esophageal tissue for individual patients."

 


 

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