News on Wellness

Growing Noses, Ears and Blood Vessels in a Lab Is Now a Reality

Ears

In a big leap forward, British scientists are growing noses, ears and even blood vessels in a lab. This is an experiment moving forward on stem cell research. This is just however, one of the labs from the several around the globe experimenting and exploring the idea of growing custom made organs outside of the human body.

Ears

So far there have been only a scarce few who have received these lab-made organs. They have included parts like tear ducts, blood vessels, and even windpipes. This gives researchers tremendous hope on being able to transplant more types of human body parts and some day even organs. This would probably include the world’s first nose grown partly from stem cells. “It’s like making a cake,” said Alexander Seifalian at University College London, the scientist leading the effort. “We just use a different kind of oven.”

At his lab Seifalian can boast of a fancy machine that is used for the purpose of making moulds from polymer material for various organs. Last year a British man turned to him and his team for help with his nose and astonishingly they made him one. In a bid to make it look and feel as close to the real thing as they could, they even added salt and sugar solution to the mould to resemble the sponge-like texture of the nose. Stem cells were borrowed from the patient’s fat and grown in the lab for around 2 weeks. Then it was scaffold and later the nose was implanted into the man’s arm for skin to grow over it and cover it.

Seifalian and his colleagues are waiting on approval from regulatory authorities to graft the nose and transfer it onto the patient’s face. They are not really sure though how that would turn out.

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