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Off-the-shelf body parts soon to become reality

London: Surgeons could soon use ready-made
human body parts to repair injuries or patch-up worn out
organs of patients, scientists have claimed.

They are perfecting in developing bare "scaffold
building blocks" of body parts which, they said, could be used
as a frame for a patient`s own cells to grow around.

Experts said the scaffold for the most commonly used
parts could be created in advance and stored ready for use
when needed, the Telegraph reported.

The technique, which has already been successful in
creating a new section of windpipe for patients, involves
taking a piece of dead donor or animal body part and removing
all the soft tissue so just the bare structure is left.

Then, stem cells from the patient can then be placed
on the frame and will regrow into a new body part for them,
according to the scientists.

Prof John Fisher from The University of Leeds said
banks of scaffolds of all kinds of body tissue can be created
to facilitate doctors in transplants.

Speaking at the UK National Stem Cell Network Annual
Science Meeting in Nottingham, Prof Fisher said that he and
his team have been working on to create the scaffolds from
dead donors or animals.

He said: "If you take a natural tissue and strip off all
of the donor`s cells you`re left with a biological scaffold
made mostly of a protein called collagen, which is compatible
with the patient receiving the scaffold.

"That scaffold is good from an engineering perspective
because it`s strong, flexible and retains the properties of
the natural tissue. It also has the appropriate shape and
size, and from a biological perspective is good because a
patient`s cells can bind to it and repopulate it easily."

According to the scientist, the advantage of the
method is that the patient will not reject the transplanted
tissue as foreign because the scaffold is stripped of all
material that can trigger rejection and the soft tissue is
grown from their own stem cells.

It means patients can avoid powerful immunosurpressant
drugs which shorten life expectancy and can increase the risk
of cancer, he said.


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