According to this news release from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, transplant researchers have made a tremendous breakthrough in their quest to grow organs and tissues. Although this is only a small step towards ultimately growing organs and tissues for transplantation, it offers hope for the future.
For Immediate Release 04/03/2006
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The first human recipients of laboratory-grown organs were reported today by Anthony Atala, M.D., director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. In The Lancet, Atala describes long-term success in children and teenagers who received bladders grown from their own cells.
“This is one small step in our ability to go forward in replacing damaged tissues and organs,” said Atala, who is now working to grow 20 different tissues and organs, including blood vessels and hearts, in the laboratory.
The engineered bladders were grown from the patients’ own cells, so there is no risk of rejection. Scientists hope that laboratory-grown organs can one day help solve the shortage of donated organs available for transplantation. Atala reported that the bladders showed improved function over time -- with some patients being followed for more than seven years..read the full news release.