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Dr. Anthony Atala's laboratory for growing organs from patients' cells: the solution to the shortage of organs for transplantation

"Is it possible to grow organs instead of transplanting them?" This is the topic of Dr. Anthony Atala's lecture At the TEDMED conference held last October in San Diego, California. This is an important topic from the seminary of Dr. Anthony Atala's laboratory in the USA for organ engineering from the patients' own cells. In fact, this is a field inRegenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine is domain who deal with it in different places. Here is the story of the organ growing laboratory.

Spotted salamander. From Wikipedia
Spotted salamander. From Wikipedia

The organ cultivation laboratory

Dr. Anthony Atala's laboratory at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine today employs 150 scientists from the fields of biomedicine, chemical engineering, molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, materials science, nanotechnology, geneticists, protein and drug delivery researchers, surgeons and doctors. All work side by side to translate the science of regenerative medicine towards the goal of clinical therapies. Everyone works with the goal of developing organs and tissues to replace every part of the body, like a kind of garage that will provide spare parts for the body. The institute is the largest facility in the world dedicated to regenerative medicine. The institute created the first organ in the world that was grown in a laboratory and was also later successfully transplanted into a patient. The institute was established in 2004 when Atala moved from Harvard to Wake Forest University to run it. Atala's team has already grown more From twenty Types of cells in the lab.

See the film of the program 60 minutes - See the four films below (three of them are the 60 Minutes film and the fourth is a TED talk).

Transplantation of a bladder grown in the laboratory from the children's cells in the body of those children

April 2006 Wake Forest Baptist University Medical Center issued a dramatic announcement: "A Wake Forest doctor reports on the first human recipients of lab-grown organs." The excitement was at its height when a doctor named was reported Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, a urologist by training. Atala successfully described regenerative medicine methods and said that he has been working for a long time on a medical project in children and adolescents who received a bladder that he grew from their own cells. (Publications).
Atala said at the time, "This is a small step in our ability to move towards replacing the destroyed tissues and organs." Atala worked vigorously on his project, growing twenty different types of tissues and organs in his laboratory, including blood vessels and hearts.

He grew the engineered bladder from the patient's own cells, and therefore, he said, there is no danger of organ rejection, as there is in transplantation. The scientists concluded in 2006 that organs grown in the laboratory could one day help solve the problem of transplants and especially the shortage of transplanted organs. Atala reported that the bladders he grew in his lab showed improved function in patients over time - when he followed certain patients for seven years.

The study dealt with patients between the ages of 4 and 19 - who were treated at Children's Hospital in Boston. The children suffered from a bladder that functioned poorly due to a birth defect that causes a closure problem in the spine. Problems with the spine often cause problems with the bladder, which may even cause damage to the kidneys. The children, it was reported, were leaking urine every thirty minutes. These are therefore good candidates for a procedure that will repair the dysfunctional bladder tissue with tissue from the intestines. But since the intestines are designed to absorb nutrients while the bladder is designed to do the exact opposite, to excrete them, patients who undergo the procedure will tend to many problems such as osteoporosis, an increased risk of cancer and the formation of kidney stones.

Atala has been working in his laboratory since the 90s trying to build vesicles from the patients' own cells. In 1999 he implanted this first organ in a patient. His report from 2006 dealt with his results since then in seven children who underwent the surgery to transplant the bladders that he grew from the children's cells. Atala proceeded slowly and cautiously, due to the experiment being limited and new. But this tissue engineering has proven to be an effective and valuable tool. At the time Atala performed the experiment with the children, he was the director of the cellular and tissue engineering clinic at Harvard Medical School. Only in 2004 did he move to Wake Forest.

The organ growth procedure for each patient begins as follows: first a biopsy is taken to obtain samples of the muscle cells and the cells that make up the bladder. These cells are then grown in culture in the laboratory until there are enough cells to place them in a mold or skeleton. The mold is specially built in the shape of a bladder and the mold is biodegradable. That is, it is consumed during the surgery to insert the bladder into the patient's body. The cells as mentioned are now in the mold and they continue to grow. Then you wait seven or eight weeks after the biopsy was performed, and the engineered bladder fuses during the surgery itself with the patient's original bladder. The mold is designed to decay, or degrade, as the bladder tissue fuses with the body. Tests show that the engineered bladders function just like bladders that have been repaired using intestinal tissue, but without the bothersome side effects that come with this last resort.

12 תגובות

  1. Hey,
    Is there an article on the subject? I'm looking for articles by Antony Atella on the subject but can't find any.
    Would appreciate help.

  2. Is it possible to make a genetic change before growing the organ and thus cure genetic diseases that require a transplant?

  3. It is not certain that this will happen for a long time, we are talking about 5-10, what is needed is an interested entrepreneur, who is interested?

    One of the advantages of such a steak is that because the muscle has not worked even once in its life, it will be as tender and tender as filet mignon or milk veal steak. A bone can be inserted during growth so that it grows around the bone and who needs fat? (Although there are solutions for this too).

  4. The problem is that a steak has not only muscle, fat and bone are an important part of creating the taste...
    But another vision for the time…

  5. Do a search on the internet, there is a lot of material.
    (The truth is that there aren't many either).
    According to what I remember - today growing a steak in a laboratory costs around 200K dollars per kilo. I mean, we're not quite there.

  6. Does anyone have more information on growing meat for food? I would love to read more on the subject.

  7. The question is until when. As soon as the price of meat from the laboratory will be the same price of organic meat. Then they will start growing.

  8. It is certainly possible, but not profitable, it is complicated and relatively expensive to do it, when the alternative of raising a live cow is much cheaper, the live cow is much easier to keep and cheaper to raise "cow per kilo of meat"

  9. Growing organs sounds complicated and complex to me. What about growing simple muscle cells of a cow that will multiply and multiply and become a huge lump of meat that will continue to grow?
    Will it be possible to grow meat for food like this?

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