Mo Ebrahimkhani,University of Pittsburgh
Dec. 7, 2020Updated: Dec. 7, 2020 2:02p.m.
(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
(THE CONVERSATION) Takeaways
Scientists have made progress growing human liver in the lab.
The challenge has been to direct stems cells to grow into a mature, functioning adult organ.
This study shows that stem cells can be programmed, using genetic engineering, to grow from immature cells into mature tissue.
When a tiny lab-grown liver was transplanted into mice with liver disease, it extended the lives of the sick animals.
Imagine if researchers could program stem cells, which have the potential to grow into all cell types in the body, so that they could generate an entire human organ. This would allow scientists to manufacture tissues for testing drugs and reduce the demand for transplant organs by having new ones grown directly from a patients cells.
Im a researcher working in this new field called synthetic biology focused on creating new biological parts and redesigning existing biological systems. In a new paper, my colleagues and I showed progress in one of the key challenges with lab-grown organs figuring out the genes necessary to produce the variety of mature cells needed to construct a functioning liver.
Induced pluripotent stem cells, a subgroup of stem cells, are capable of producing cells that can build entire organs in the human body. But they can do this job only if they receive the right quantity of growth signals at the right time from their environment. If this happens, they eventually give rise to different cell types that can assemble and mature in the form of human organs and tissues.
The tissues researchers generate from pluripotent stem cells can provide a unique source for personalized medicine from transplantation to novel drug discovery.
But unfortunately, synthetic tissues from stem cells are not always suitable for transplant or drug testing because they contain unwanted cells from other tissues, or lack the tissue maturity and a complete network of blood vessels necessary for bringing oxygen and nutrients needed to nurture an organ. That is why having a framework to assess whether these lab-grown cells and tissues are doing their job, and how to make them more like human organs, is critical.
Inspired by this challenge, I was determined to establish a synthetic biology method to read and write, or program, tissue development. I am trying to do this using the genetic language of stem cells, similar to what is used by nature to form human organs.
Tissues and organs made by genetic designs
I am a researcher specializing in synthetic biology and biological engineering at the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where the goals are to use engineering approaches to analyze and build novel biological systems and solve human health problems. My lab combines synthetic biology and regenerative medicine in a new field that strives to replace, regrow or repair diseased organs or tissues.
I chose to focus on growing new human livers because this organ is vital for controlling most levels of chemicals like proteins or sugar in the blood. The liver also breaks down harmful chemicals and metabolizes many drugs in our body. But the liver tissue is also vulnerable and can be damaged and destroyed by many diseases, such as hepatitis or fatty liver disease. There is a shortage of donor organs, which limits liver transplantation.
To make synthetic organs and tissues, scientists need to be able to control stem cells so that they can form into different types of cells, such as liver cells and blood vessel cells. The goal is to mature these stem cells into miniorgans, or organoids, containing blood vessels and the correct adult cell types that would be found in a natural organ.
One way to orchestrate maturation of synthetic tissues is to determine the list of genes needed to induce a group of stem cells to grow, mature and evolve into a complete and functioning organ. To derive this list I worked with Patrick Cahan and Samira Kiani to first use computational analysis to identify genes involved in transforming a group of stem cells into a mature functioning liver. Then our team led by two of my students Jeremy Velazquez and Ryan LeGraw used genetic engineering to alter specific genes we had identified and used them to help build and mature human liver tissues from stem cells.
The tissue is grown from a layer of genetically engineered stem cells in a petri dish. The function of genetic programs together with nutrients is to orchestrate formation of liver organoids over the course of 15 to 17 days.
Liver in a dish
I and my colleagues first compared the active genes in fetal liver organoids we had grown in the lab with those in adult human livers using a computational analysis to get a list of genes needed for driving fetal liver organoids to mature into adult organs.
We then used genetic engineering to tweak genes and the resulting proteins that the stem cells needed to mature further toward an adult liver. In the course of about 17 days we generated tiny several millimeters in width but more mature liver tissues with a range of cells typically found in livers in the third trimester of human pregnancies.
Like a mature human liver, these synthetic livers were able to store, synthesize and metabolize nutrients. Though our lab-grown livers were small, we are hopeful that we can scale them up in the future. While they share many similar features with adult livers, they arent perfect and our team still has work to do. For example, we still need to improve the capacity of the liver tissue to metabolize a variety of drugs. We also need to make it safer and more efficacious for eventual application in humans.
[Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversations newsletter.]
Our study demonstrates the ability of these lab livers to mature and develop a functional network of blood vessels in just two and a half weeks. We believe this approach can pave the path for the manufacture of other organs with vasculature via genetic programming.
The liver organoids provide several key features of an adult human liver such as production of key blood proteins and regulation of bile a chemical important for digestion of food.
When we implanted the lab-grown liver tissues into mice suffering from liver disease, it increased the life span. We named our organoids designer organoids, as they are generated via a genetic design.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: https://theconversation.com/genetic-engineering-transformed-stem-cells-into-working-mini-livers-that-extended-the-life-of-mice-with-liver-disease-151089.
Read more from the original source:
Genetic engineering transformed stem cells into working mini-livers that extended the life of mice with liver disease - Albany Times Union
- $500K Grant Supports Research on Muscle Growth in Pigs, With Broader Health Implications - Maryland Today - July 22nd, 2021
- EU approves bluebird bio's CALD gene therapy Skysona - PMLiVE - July 22nd, 2021
- Secrets and pies: the battle to get lab-grown meat on the menu - The Guardian - July 22nd, 2021
- Biomedical Warming and Thawing Devices Market Revenue to Cross USD 308 Mn by 2027: Global Market Insights Inc. - Markets Insider - July 22nd, 2021
- A Recovery for All Of Us: New York City Invests $1 Billion in Life Sciences - Brooklyn Daily Eagle - July 22nd, 2021
- The growing global "infodemic" around stem cell therapies - Axios - June 25th, 2021
- NanoString Launches nCounter Stem Cell Characterization Panel to Advance the Development of Stem Cell Therapy - Yahoo Finance - June 25th, 2021
- Catalent to Acquire RheinCell Therapeutics, Strengthening a Path Towards Industrialization of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-based Therapies - Yahoo... - June 25th, 2021
- Immusoft Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board - Business Wire - June 25th, 2021
- Jasper Therapeutics and Aruvant Announce Research Collaboration to Study JSP191, an Antibody-Based Conditioning Agent, with ARU-1801, a Novel Gene... - June 25th, 2021
- Gamida Cell Announces Publication in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology, of the First Pivotal Trial to Evaluate a Cell Therapy... - June 25th, 2021
- More than 800 medicines are in development for diseases that disproportionately affect racial and ethnic communities - PRNewswire - June 25th, 2021
- Andrs Garca Receives Distinguished Professor Award | Research - Research Horizons - June 25th, 2021
- Local foundation awards $1.25 million to MIND Institute to study rare genetic condition - UC Davis Health - June 25th, 2021
- MeCP2 is a microsatellite binding protein that protects CA repeats from nucleosome invasion - Science Magazine - June 25th, 2021
- The Stem Cell Manufacturing market is projected to reach USD 18.0 billion by 2026 from USD - GlobeNewswire - May 28th, 2021
- Jasper Therapeutics Announces New Clinical Trial with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to Evaluate JSP191 in Chronic... - May 28th, 2021
- Global Flow Cytometry Market (2020 to 2026) - by Technology, Product and Service, Application, End-user and Geography - ResearchAndMarkets.com -... - May 28th, 2021
- Meso-Brain project explores 3D printed stem cells to treat neurological conditions - 3D Printing Industry - May 28th, 2021
- Moderna Highlights Advances in Platform Science and Innovative Vaccine Research at Fourth Annual Science Day - Business Wire - May 28th, 2021
- GPB Scientific Announces Additional Growth Financing to Support Commercialization of Curate Cell Processing System for Next-Generation Cell & Gene... - May 28th, 2021
- TScan Therapeutics Adds to Executive Leadership Team and Board of Directors - BioSpace - May 28th, 2021
- Bone Therapeutics Provides First Quarter 2021 Business Update - GlobeNewswire - May 28th, 2021
- Merakris Therapeutics, Inc. Announces FDA Clearance for - GlobeNewswire - May 28th, 2021
- Stem Cell Manufacturing Market 2021 | Research With Size, Growth, Manufacturers, Key Segment, Analysis, Development Status, Segments and 2027... - February 19th, 2021
- Tissue regeneration: Reserve or reverse? - Science Magazine - February 19th, 2021
- Global Scaffold Technology Market Is Expected to Reach USD 2.16 billion by 2028 : Fior Markets - GlobeNewswire - February 19th, 2021
- Recombinant Growth Factors to Account for Over 45% of Overall Demand through 2031: Persistence Market Research - PRNewswire - February 19th, 2021
- The Untapped Potential of Cell and Gene Therapy - AJMC.com Managed Markets Network - February 19th, 2021
- Century Therapeutics Significantly Expands Capabilities with New Operational, Laboratory and Manufacturing Facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey -... - February 19th, 2021
- Cell Therapy Processing Market To Grow Value $12062 Million By 2026 | Latest Research Report - PharmiWeb.com - February 19th, 2021
- Global Stem Cell Therapy Market 2020 | Demand and Scope with Outlook, Business Strategies, Challenges and Forecasts to 2025 KSU | The Sentinel... - February 19th, 2021
- Humanized Mouse and Rat Model Market: Increased development of monoclonal antibodies and improved healthcare to drive the market - BioSpace - February 19th, 2021
- Iterion Therapeutics Secures $17 Million to Advance Development of Tegavivint in Multiple Tumor Settings - PRNewswire - February 19th, 2021
- Global Apoptosis Assays Market Estimated To Expand At A Robust CAGR By 2027||Promega, Abcam plc, Research And Diagnostic Systems, Inc., Sartorius AG,... - February 19th, 2021
- Tibidabo Scientific Industries Strengthens its Core Executive Team with the Appointment of Industry Veteran, John LaViola as Chief Technology Officer... - February 19th, 2021
- Global Cell Expansion Market Value Projected to Expand by 2021-2026 | Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., GE Healthcare, Lonza Group Ltd., Becton,... - February 19th, 2021
- How Irish medtech came to thrive - Med-Tech Innovation - February 19th, 2021
- Translational Regenerative Medicine Market: Immunotherapy is projected to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period - BioSpace - February 11th, 2021
- Ensoma Launches to Pioneer Next-Generation In Vivo Approach to Deliver First Off-the-shelf Genomic Medicines - Business Wire - February 11th, 2021
- Notch Therapeutics Closes $85 Million Series A Financing to Develop Pipeline of Renewable Stem Cell-Derived Cancer Immunotherapies - PRNewswire - February 11th, 2021
- Global Biopreservation Market Is Expected to Reach USD 7.67 Billion by 2028 : Fior Markets - GlobeNewswire - February 11th, 2021
- Apollomics, Inc. and Iterion Therapeutics Announce Exclusive Collaboration and License Agreement to Develop and Commercialize Tegavivint in Greater... - February 11th, 2021
- Stem Cell Therapy Market Revenue, Key Players, Supply-Demand, Investment Feasibility and Forecast By 2029: Osiris Therapeutics, NuVasive, Chiesi... - February 11th, 2021
- 2020 Outlook on the Global Singlecell Technology Industry - Market Size was Over $800 Million in 2019 - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Business Wire - February 11th, 2021
- Stem Cell Cryopreservation Equipments Market Size Report: Strategies of Key Manufacturers, Project Investment of New Industries: Chart, Worthington... - February 11th, 2021
- Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation in Cancer Treatment and Care - Business Wire - February 11th, 2021
- Outlook on the CRISPR Gene Editing Global Market to 2030 - Analysis and Forecasts - GlobeNewswire - February 11th, 2021
- Researchers curb local immune response in horses receiving stem cell injury therapy - Horsetalk - February 7th, 2021
- Biobanking Market Report Research and Global Outlook 2021 to 2025 KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - February 7th, 2021
- Animal Stem Cell Therapy Market By Product Type (Dogs, Horses) And By End-Users/Application (Veterinary Hospitals, Research Organizations) Market... - February 6th, 2021
- Stem Cell Assay Market Share, Demand, Manufacturers and Forecast till 2027 | Merck & Co., Thermo Fisher Scientific, GE Healthcare, Agilent... - February 6th, 2021
- Global Apoptosis Assays Market Set To Grow At Healthy CAGR Of 11.10% By 2027||Abcam plc, Research And Diagnostic Systems, Inc., Sartorius AG, Biotium,... - February 6th, 2021
- Jill Biden signals White House resolve on cancer research: This is the fight of our lives - The Cancer Letter - February 6th, 2021
- Tiny sensor technique reveals cellular forces involved in tissue generation - Brown University - February 6th, 2021
- Global Stem Cell Partnering Terms and Agreements Directory 2020: Company AZ, Headline Value, Stage of Development at Signing, Deal Component Type,... - February 6th, 2021
- Perales Examines the Impact of COVID-19 on Recipients of Cellular Therapies for Cancer - OncLive - February 6th, 2021
- Stem Cell Market is Expected to Grow with an Impressive CAGR till 2027 | Players Vcanbio, Boyalife, Beikebiotech KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - KSU... - February 6th, 2021
- Regenerative Medicine Market to be Valued at USD 6.49 Billion by 2027 | The Escalating Burden of Chronic Diseases and Genetic Aberrations will be the... - February 4th, 2021
- Turn Biotechnologies Expands the Potential of its mRNA Platform by Licensing Unique Artificial Niche Technology - PRNewswire - February 4th, 2021
- Evotec and Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf Enter Partnership to Develop iPSC-Based Tissue Therapy for Heart Failure - Yahoo Finance UK - February 4th, 2021
- Biobanks Market | Prominent Factors Analysis that will Help in Reshaping the Market Growth - BioSpace - February 4th, 2021
- Alexion Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Results - BioSpace - February 4th, 2021
- Autologous Stem Cell and Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Market 2020 Size, Share, Analysis, Growth Driver and Industry Segments by 2027 KSU | The... - February 4th, 2021
- Transfection Technologies Market Size 2020 | Global Business Strategies, Growing CAGR of 20.0%, Industry Revenue, Opportunities-Aldrich Co Thermo... - February 4th, 2021
- Global Apoptosis Assays Market Report 2020: Apoptosis Assay Kits Lead the Demand with 42.5% Share - Forecast to 2026 - GlobeNewswire - February 4th, 2021
- Global Hematopoietic Stem Cells Transplantation Market 2020 Industry Scenario, Strategies, Growth Factors and Forecast to 2025 KSU | The Sentinel... - February 4th, 2021
- Mustang Bio Provides Updates on its Lentiviral Gene Therapies for the Treatment of X-linked Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (XSCID) - GlobeNewswire - February 4th, 2021
- Medexus Pharmaceuticals and medac GmbH enter into a License Agreement for First-in-Class Conditioning Agent for Hematopoietic Stem Cell... - February 4th, 2021
- People With Cancer Should Receive COVID-19 Vaccine, Experts Say - Cancer Health Treatment News - February 4th, 2021
- Adipose Tissue-Derived Stem Cells (ADSCS) Market is Projected to Grow Massively in Near Future The Courier - The Courier - February 4th, 2021
- Healthcare Inventory Management Market: Rising Research and Development is Anticipated to Drive the Market - BioSpace - January 30th, 2021
- Cell and Gene Therapy Firms Gear up to Revolutionize Manufacturing - Labiotech.eu - January 30th, 2021
- Latest Research and Industry Trends of Cell and Tissue Culture Supplies Market Forecast 2027 Stemcell Technologies, Wheaton Industries, GE Healthcare ... - January 30th, 2021
- 5 People in the BioHealth Capital Region You Should Know In 2021 - BioBuzz - January 30th, 2021
- Global CAR-T Therapy Market Opportunities and Strategies Report 2020: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery - Forecast to 2030 - GlobeNewswire - January 30th, 2021
- Their Goal: Meat That's Better Than Meat | Tufts Now - Tufts Now - January 30th, 2021
- Humanigen and Emergent BioSolutions Announce Contract Development and Manufacturing Agreement for Phase 3 COVID-19 Therapeutic Candidate Lenzilumab -... - January 30th, 2021
- Cell and Gene Therapy Market Size to Reach USD 7,250.0 Million by 2028 | Increasing Investments in Production Capacity Expansion for Cell and Gene... - January 30th, 2021
- Protein identified that may help treat Parkinsons disease - Medical News Today - January 30th, 2021