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Grant of the Government of the Russian Federation for the state support of scientific researches, which are conducted under the guidance of leading scientists in Russian educational institutions of higher professional education (agreement No. 11.G34.31.0065 dated October 19, 2011)

Regeneration of airways and lung

The official website of the project "Investigating the molecular mechanisms and underlying pathways of regenerative medicine approaches the tissue-engineering and cell therapy of airways and lungs"

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Tissue engineering has been used to construct natural oesophagi, which in combination with bone marrow stem cells have been safely and effectively transplanted in rats

Alexander Sotnichenko, 26, PhD student of the Kuban State Medical University (Krasnodar, Russia) took part in this study. For the first time Russian researcher becomes co-author in the publication for Nature Com.

The new method has been developed by researchers at KarolinskaInstitutet in Sweden, within an international collaboration lead by Professor Paolo Macchiarini. The technique to grow human tissues and organs, so called tissue engineering, has been employed so far to produce urinary bladder, trachea and blood vessels, which have also been used clinically. However, despite several attempts, it has been proven difficult to grow tissue to replace a damaged oesophagus.

In this new study, the researchers created the bioengineered organs by using oesophagi from rats and removing all the cells. With the cells gone, a scaffold remains in which the structure as well as mechanical and chemical properties of the organ are preserved. The produced scaffolds were then reseeded with cells from the bone marrow. The adhering cells have low immunogenicity which minimizes the risk of immune reaction and graft rejection and also eliminates the need for immunosuppressive drugs. The cells adhered to the biological scaffold and started to show organ-specific characteristics within three weeks.

The cultured tissues were used to replace segments of the oesophagus in rats. All rats survived and after two weeks the researchers found indications of the major components in the regenerated graft: epithelium, muscle cells, blood vessels and nerves.

“We believe that these very promising findings represent major advances towards the clinical translation of tissue engineered esophagi”, says Paolo Macchiarini, Director of Advanced center for translational regenerative medicine (ACTREM) at KarolinskaInstitutet.

Tissue engineered organs could improve survival and quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of patients yearly diagnosed with oesophageal disorders such as cancer, congenital anomalies or trauma. Today the patients’ own intestine or stomach is used for esophageal replacements, but satisfactory function rarely achieved. Cultured tissue might eliminate this current need and likely improve surgery-related mortality, morbidity and functional outcome.

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140415/ncomms4562/full/ncomms4562.html

For further information, please contact:

Professor Paolo Macchiarini, MD, PhD
Advanced Center for Translational Regenerative Medicine (ACTREM)
Department of Clinical Science Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), KarolinskaInstitutet
Telephone: +46 760503213
Email: paolo.macchiarini@ki.se

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2012 Kuban State Medical University. The official website of the project "Investigating the molecular mechanisms and underlying pathways of regenerative medicine approaches the tissue-engineering and cell therapy of airways and lungs"