I’d like to review some modern “medical gadgets” created for purposes of regenerative medicine. I’ve picked 5 most interesting, in my opinion, gadgets presented in 2010.
Researchers from Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina, have developed a portable skin printing system that uses living cells to create tissue-engineered skin grafts to cover burn wounds. It is hoped to be eventually purposed to allow on-site in situ repair of battlefield burn wounds.
The device prints layers of fibroblasts and keratinocytes directly onto the skin. The suspensions with cells are mixed with fibrinogen, type I collagen and thrombin at the moment of application.
Presented at TERMIS 2010
download abstract (.doc)
A team of surgeons at the University of Utah have successfully demonstrated the ability to use a patient’s own blood-borne progenitor cells to treat serious burns. In a process that takes just 15 minutes, the surgeons extracted platelets and progenitor cells from the patient’s blood, and added calcium and thrombin to create a topical spray which was then used to help heal burned skin.
3. New bioartificial kidney prototypes to replace dialysis
There are few of them in the process of development:
UCSF implantable artificial kidney cartridge:
UCSF researchers today unveiled a prototype model of the first implantable artificial kidney, in a development that one day could eliminate the need for dialysis.
The treatment has been proven to work for the sickest patients using a room-sized external model developed by a team member in Michigan. Royâ€™s goal is to apply silicon fabrication technology, along with specially engineered compartments for live kidney cells, to shrink that large-scale technology into a device the size of a coffee cup. The device would then be implanted in the body without the need for immune suppressant medications, allowing the patient to live a more normal life.
4. Cell-seeded surgical sutures
Back in 2009 two teams started to explore this approach:
Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering students embedded stem cells in surgical suture. Technology is commercialized by BioActive Surgical Inc;
Development of stem cell powered textiles –
a method to embed multipotent mesenchymal stem cells onto the surface fibers of common surgical fabric implants.
This year, the technology was explored to repair the heart
Now researchers have developed a new kind of biological sutures, made from polymer strands infused with stem cells, that might help surmount two major obstacles to using stem cells to heal the heart: getting the cells to the right spot and keeping them there long enough to trigger healing.
Scientists from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts, have shown that cells derived from human bone marrow, known as mesenchymal stem cells, can survive on the threads and maintain their ability to differentiate into different cell types after being sewn through a collagen matrix that mimics tissue. Preliminary tests in rats suggest that the technology helps the cells survive in the heart.
5. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells separation device
Japanese Kaneka corporation presented at ISSCR 2010 and TERMIS 2010 the first innovative device for harvest bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell via filter.
After screening 200 biomaterials, we developed a device containing a nonwoven fabric filter composed of rayon and polyethylene. The filter selectively traps BMSCs among mononuclear cells in bone marrow based on affinity, not cell size. The cells are then recovered by the retrograde flow. Using canine and human bone marrow cells, the biological properties of BMSCs isolated by the device were compared with those obtained by conventional methods using centrifugation. The total number isolated by the device was larger, as was the number of CD106+/STRO-1+ double-positive cells. The cells showed osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic differentiation potential in vitro.
The proposed method is rapid and efficient, does not require a biological clean area, and will be useful for the clinical application of mesenchymal stem cells in bone marrow.