Cincinnati Children's Blog

A Gutsy Scientific Breakthrough

December 15, 2010

A new breakthrough in stem cell research at Cincinnati Children’s is a critical first step to one day being able to grow new intestinal tissue that can be transplanted into patients with gastrointestinal disease.

Published online Dec. 12 by the journal Nature, the study opens the door to new studies exploring the use of highly multi-purpose stem cells (called pluripotent) that can be generated from a person’s own skin cells. A key advantage to generating the cells from a patient’s own cells is that it eliminates the risk of rejection by the body’s immune system.

The study was a large team effort involving several scientists lead by the senior investigator, James Wells, PhD., a researcher in the division of Developmental Biology, and first author Jason Spence, PhD., a member of Wells’ laboratory.

The scientists were able to generate in the laboratory intestinal tissue that was three dimensional in its structure – a first in biomedical science – and that matured, absorbed nutrients and secreted chemicals that aid in digestion.

For more information on the study, please visit https://bit.ly/fScNsT

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