Source: Gen News
(BRISTOL, England) — Researchers say they have developed a new tissue scaffold technology that could one day enable the engineering of large organs. The team led by the Universities of Bristol and Liverpool has shown that it is possible to combine cells with a special scaffold to produce living tissue in the laboratory. It is hoped this can then be implanted into patients as a way of replacing diseased parts of the body.
Until now, the approach has generally been limited to growing small pieces of tissue, as larger dimensions reduce the oxygen supply to the cells in the center.
The scientists used cartilage tissue engineering as a model system for testing a new method of overcoming the oxygen limitation problem. They synthesized a new class of artificial membrane binding proteins that can be attached to stems cells. By attaching an oxygen-carrying protein, myoglobin, to the stem cells before they are used to engineer cartilage, they ensure that each cell has its own oxygen reservoir that it can access when the oxygen in the scaffold drops to dangerously low levels.