There is a need to make something identical to treat or replace something that is no longer working. Scientist today from Yale University are trying to find the finest method to make bioengineered tissue of lungs for research purposes.
Bioengineered tissue is made by scientists to mend the wounds that are slowly healing. This tissue can stick to the body cells and helps in the healing of tissues. It can make healing faster.
The process involves principles of regenerative medicine. Scientists take cells from patients or animals, cause them to mature and multiply in the lab, and guide them into becoming a functional replacement organ or edible meat product by tissue engineering.
General components of tissue engineering are reparative cells that form the network, scaffold for transplantation and support and bio reactive molecules such as cytokines that support the growth of desired tissue.
The research was conducted by Allison Greaney, a graduate student in biomedical engineering and first author of the study, and Dr. Laura Niklason, the Nicholas Greene Professor of Anesthesiology and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Yale University, as the senior author of the study. The study aimed at figuring out the best method for producing tissue cells that would be exactly like normal cells.
To develop trachea and lungs that are artificial, scientists need to identify the best methods for growing the cells. Nowadays researchers in the world are working on different methods for making tissues that can be used in the research of lungs and diseases such as asthma, the flu, cystic fibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
For growing bioengineered tissue in the lab, the researchers from Yale University used single-cell RNA sequencing technology and used four common platforms for making bioengineered tissues.
The researchers worked on two engineered platforms, one for engineered trachea and another for lung. The team also worked on two non-engineered platforms, one in which cells are suspended in a hydrogel like they were stuck in a gelatin mold and one in which cells sit on a plastic filter and are exposed to air on top, like grass in a lawn.
The Yale team concluded that engineered methods are better to produce tissue. The commonly used methods are the last two because they are convenient to use and can be used to make more tissue.
The researchers from Yale are voting for engineered lungs because lungs and trachea in engineered methods more resemble the real ones. The researchers found that cells in non-engineered platforms behave differently because cells catch different signals at that platform.
When questioned by Health Units whether they would conduct this study on other organ tissues of the body as well, Dr Laura Niklason said:
We have maintained other types of organs in vitro, in collaboration with other scientists at Yale. In particular, we have collaborated on maintaining livers in culture, as well as hearts from rodents.
The authors of the study say:
Cells grown in engineered lungs and trachea more closely resemble native lung and trachea cells. Not many people use engineered trachea or lung constructs in our field because they are somewhat more difficult to work with, but the beneficial effects on cells we found in this study suggest that it is worth the extra effort.
The study was published on March 24 in the journal Cell Reports. Grants were given from the National Institutes of Health to support the research.