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Thread: External organ growing

  1. #1 External organ growing 
    Forum Freshman Cheesepole's Avatar
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    I hope that I am posting this in the right section!

    I was wondering what others think of the idea of external organ growing.

    Essentially, this is where a few of the patient's stem/progenitor cells are harvested and used to cultivate a full organ in a laboratory environment. This can then be used for transplantation.

    The main advantage is that - unlike donor organs - the organ's genome is identical to that of the patient's, as their own stem cells have been used. Therefore, there is no chance of rejection and immunosuppresants are not necessary.

    I know that they have had success in growing and transplanting several bladders and a trachea, and are now attempting the kidney.

    Do you think that it is a viable method? Does it have a place in the future of transplantation?


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  3. #2  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Do you think that it is a viable method? Does it have a place in the future of transplantation?
    Definitely x2. There is still some work to be done, but this must be the next, best yet step. Only problem is the fundamentalists running around in hysterics whenever the words "Stem cell research" are uttered.


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    Forum Freshman Jamie Whitehouse's Avatar
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    Third party stem cells I can understand why some people may have a problem with it, but I can't even think of an argument against using one's own progenitor cells to grow biological bits and bobs... except the generic "playing god" arguments.

    But, I agree ^^^.

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    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesepole View Post
    I was wondering what others think of the idea of external organ growing ... in a laboratory environment
    Extremely likely, and research is well on its way to fulfilling this idea.

    A "laboratory environment" can mean a few things:

    The term in vitro literally means "in glass", and it refers to an artificial environment, such as a test tube or something more elaborate. In a way, fermentation for food production (wine, beer, bread, etc) is a method thousands of years old using life sustained in an artificial environment (vats, barrels, bread pans, etc).

    The term in vivo literally means "in life", and it refers to a living environment, such as the Vacanti mouse. But we may not need to go to other species for organ regeneration. Look at what doctors did with Roy Horn's skull fragment while waiting for the swelling in his brain to subside. Why not grow an organ inside the recipient's own body?
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman Cheesepole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Only problem is the fundamentalists running around in hysterics whenever the words "Stem cell research" are uttered.
    So true! I studied this topic for my Year 12 Research Studies class and so many people I spoke to were horrified as soon as I mentioned "stem cells". Bah!

    Also, sorry that I was a bit sketchy on details. I believe that the trials have been done in vitro. Basically, a petri dish. They also use a "scaffold" in the shape of the organ, made out of collagen (I think), for the stem cells to grow upon. Sorry!
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    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein
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