Tissue Engineers Develop Novel Treatment for Necrotizing Enterocolitis
To better treat children suffering from necrotizing enterocolitis, a disorder that results in intestinal tissue death, Dr. Tracy Griksheit and her colleagues at the Saban Research Institute have been engineering tissue to decrease morbidity. To treat this disease, dead intestinal tissue must be excised, significantly shortening the intestinal tract, which necessitates lifelong intravenous feeding. Dr. Griksheit has used human donor cells to extract stem cells that are grafted onto a biodegradable scaffold. As the cells differentiate in a bioreactor, intestinal-like tissue forms. Rat trials, in which the generated tissue was transplanted into the intestine, were promising. Dr. Griksheit anticipates that, in the future, this may be a successful treatment.