Tissue-engineering of the gastrointestinal tract
Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 05/16/2012
Levin DE et al. – Gastrointestinal organ loss is a challenge to manage. Current therapy can be life–saving, but is associated with morbid complications. Tissue–engineering will someday restore normal gastrointestinal function and eliminate the need for nutritional supplementation or transplant.Methods
- The purpose of this review is to describe recent advancements in tissue-engineering of the gastrointestinal system.
- For some patients, a congenital or acquired defect in the alimentary system results in digestive or nutritional deficiencies requiring intervention.
- Unfortunately, these treatments are associated with morbid complications.
- Advances in the growth of tissue-engineered esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and anus have been made in recent years.
- The progress reviewed here hopefully will someday benefit patients with gastrointestinal organ loss by providing a tissue replacement with morphology and function similar to native tissue.
- In native gastrointestinal tissue, epithelial homeostasis is governed largely by the interaction of the stem cell and its surrounding cellular niche.
- In particular, the small intestinal stem cell populations identified as the crypt base columnar cell (CBCC) and at cell position 4 (cp4) are responsible for mucosal maintenance and response to injury.
- This work influences efforts to generate bioengineered tissues for both in-vitro mucosal models and full-thickness in-vivo tissue-engineered esophagus, stomach, intestine and colon.