The cultivation of various tissues and organs "under the order" is an old dream of many doctors and patients. Therefore, the world's first case of transplantation of lung tissue grown in a test tube, has become a landmark for all transplantologists.
Already this summer, scientists representing the University of Texas (Galveston) have successfully transplanted artificially grown lungs to animals.
Lung tissue was obtained using ultramodern biotechnological methods. As a result, a complete blood circulation system was formed, and the survival rate of the operated patients increased.
Of course, the method requires many more years of observation and possible refinement, so that the "new" lungs can perform their function for many years after transplantation. However, it is already clear that tissues “from a test tube” will help eliminate the shortage of donor grafts: this problem is now urgent as never before.
The famous American transplantologist, Brian Witson, representing Wexner Medical Center (Ohio), has already described the work of scientists as a “monumental achievement” in the field of organ transplants.
How exactly does lung tissue growing in a laboratory? At first, scientists "rid" the lungs of blood and cellular structures using a special mass consisting of sugars and surfactants. As a result, there remains a kind of "skeleton", which is a skeleton with a protein structure. Next, this frame is filled: nutrients, growth factors and the recipient's own cells of the “receiving” organism are used.
At the end, the cells colonize an absolutely new organ ready for transplantation.
The full cycle of the procedure — from the moment of “deliverance” to operative transplantation — lasts one month.
Specialists put several animals to sleep at different times after surgery. The study only confirmed that the transplanted lungs form a fully functional vascular network within themselves, and are also colonized by natural flora.
No problems with the respiratory function of the operated animals were noted. The rejection processes were not fixed. This is especially important when you consider that animals did not receive immunosuppressive drugs, as it usually happens after such operations. “It is impossible not to point out such an advantage. After all, the majority of adverse events during the rehabilitation period are caused by the administration of immunosuppressants, ”explains Professor Witson.
It turns out that in the near future surgeons will be able to transplant a genetically equal, almost “native” organ, grown for several weeks. Moreover, such material can be "ordered" in the required amount, without a long wait and unnecessary risk.
Experts have already estimated the approximate cost of the new body - about 12 thousand US dollars. For comparison, today the minimum cost of lung transplantation in the United States is estimated at 90-100 thousand dollars.
At the moment, only in American clinics more than one and a half thousand patients are waiting for their turn for a lung transplant operation. Doctors say bitterly: not all of them will wait for their donor organ. Therefore, the use of new technologies is a really important step in the right medical direction.
Information is available on the pages of the publication Science Translational Medicine.
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