Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Future of Organ Transplant- Decellularization

Organ transplantation is the best treatment for many terminal illnesses, but this life-saving treatment has always been limited by the risk of organ rejection.

To avoid an unfavourable immune response, transplant patients suffer a lifetime taking immunosuppressing medication.

But all that is set to change with DECELLULARIZATION--an engineering technique that removes all the cells and immunogenic antibodies from a donor tissue, leaving only the connective tissue to hold the cells in place, thus creating an extra cellular matrix (ECM) scaffold.

Scientists then use the recepient/patient's own cells to recellularize the ECM scaffold. These stem cells differentiate into the original tissue e.g a heart. In this way, the recepient will not have an adverse response to the tissue.

Click this link to watch an explanatory video.

Decellularization was pioneered by Stephen F. Badylak at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

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