Building hollow organs from 'magnetic cells'
What is it about?
This work reports on a novel process for rapid and uniform seeding of cells onto the internal surface of large tubular constructs based on the use of magnetic nanoparticles. Fibroblasts - cells that build the structural framework of tissues - incubated with sugar-coated magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, were directed onto the inner surface of tubular constructs by a magnetic field generated by a rotating array of magnets, resulting in tubular constructs similar to, for example, the small intestine. The described technique overcomes limitations associated with other existing cell-delivery techniques and is amenable to a variety of tubular organs where rapid loading and uniform distribution of cells for therapeutic applications are required.
Why is it important?
Patients undergoing major surgery, mainly for removal large portions of organs or tissues, cannot be always offered with a tissue replacement to recover normal function. Developing protocols for 'growing and harvesting' different tissue types could represent a time- and resource-efficient method for organ replacement in a large population.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Daniel Ortega and Dr Konstantinos C. Fragkos