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Iranian scientist heads team for lab-grown organs

Researchers of Royal Free Hospital headed by Alexander Seifalian have succeeded in growing various body organs such as nose and ear using stem cells.The hospital is affiliated to UCL. Various laboratories worldwide seek to produce transplantable lab organs using stem cells.

Only a small number of patients in the UK have used the organs grown in laboratories including arteries, lacrimal canaliculus and windpipe.

The laboratory nose, which has been manufactured for a cancer patient, is waiting for the organ transplant permit. However, researchers hope to produce more organs for transplantation in the future.

According to Professor Seifalian, head of the research team, the method for growing lab organs is like baking a cake. Various organs are grown in different moulds using stem cells. The polymer products are put in a special machine to grow these organs.

The researchers made a laboratory-grown nose for a patient who had lost his/her nose due to cancer.The researchers created a sponge-like texture by adding salt-sugar combination to the mould.

Stem cells, extracted from body fat, were cultivated in laboratory for two weeks. Then, they were used for covering the nose scaffold. Later, the nose was implanted into the man’s forearm so that skin would grow to cover it. The researchers are also growing other organs such as ear and coronary arteries. But manufacturing ear is more complicated than nose.

The clinical trial of laboratory-grown ears will begin on patients in India and London by the yearend.

Researchers seek extensive use of lab-grown arteries on patients in 2016 after obtaining necessary permits.

Source: Iran Daily
Published: 10 Apr 2014

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