Pioneering scientists at the Francis Crick Institute, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH) have grown human intestinal grafts using stem cells from patient tissue that could one day lead to personalized transplants for children with intestinal failure, according to a study published in Nature Medicine today (Monday 7th September).
Children with intestinal failure cannot absorb the nutrients that are essential for their overall health and development. This may be due to a disease or injury to their small intestine.
In these cases, children can be fed intravenously via a process called parenteral nutrition, however this is associated with severe complications such as line infections and liver failure. If complications arise or in severe cases these children may need a transplant. However, there is a shortage of suitable donor organs and problems can arise after surgery, such as the body rejecting the transplant.
In their proof-of-concept study, the research team showed how intestinal stem cells and small intestinal or colonic tissue taken from patients can be used to grow the important inner layer of small intestine in the laboratory with the capacity to digest and absorb peptides and digest sucrose in food.
This is the first step in