As the demand to replace old, injured or diseased tissue continues to increase, it is obvious that this demand cannot be met through organ donation alone. An alternative approach is required. Tissue or organ engineering brings together the skills and expertise of cell biologists, bioengineers, material scientists and clinicians/surgeons with the goal of creating functional tissues and organs in the laboratory for patient benefit.
The basic components required for tissue engineered functional organs are two-fold; a scaffold or frameword of the tissue or organ required, and cells (stem cells or differentiated cells), which must come together in a sybiotic relationship in order to create functional tissue. The team’s focus is develop and use innovative technologies in each of these two disciplines and to create lasting solutions which address defined clinical problems whilst adding to our basic understanding of regenerative medicine and its future potential.
Our current areas of interest are:
Tissue Engineered Functional Small Bowel for Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disorders
We have already developed an acellular porcine small bowel scaffold with an integrated vascular template. Our current focus is combining intestinal organoid units with differentiated mesenchymal stem cells to create functional tissue. Cultured intestinal organoid units are minature gut-like structures which can be grown from isolated intestinal crypts. Adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells show strong evidence for multi-lineage differentiation potential and theraputic safety and efficacy across a range of tissues and diseases.
Bio-Engineered Liver - (Hepa Vive Project) for Liver Disease
Our aim is to use a biological tissue engineering approach to produce a bio-engineered liver capable of appropriate physiological function. Specifically, to combine the extra cellular matrix of a non-immunogenic porcine liver and dfiierentiated adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells to create a platform technology capable of producing functional tissue. By using a xenogenic scaffold source, we will not impinge on the valuable and scarce human donated tissue destined for transplantation.
Wound Healing - BIO-ACTIVE Paste for Non-Healing Wounds
We have developed a highly bioactive collagen paste, derived from porcine dermis, to treat full thickness wounds as an off the shelf product to be used either on its own, or as a delivery system in conjuntion with autologous stem cells or theraputic drugs. Our collagen paste has numerous biocompatible growth factors and molecular cues identified through detailed proteomics, all designed to accelerate the wound healing process. Collagen presented as a paste to the wound bed has significant advantages over commercially available sheets, which an be difficult to apply to the complex contours of a typical wound base. A bioactive paste has the potential to integrate more closely with the wound bed and provide the structural framework for cellular infiltration.
Blond McIndoe Laboratories
Research is focused on several areas of regenerative medicine applying the latest technology on wounds and scars.
Cardiac Research undertakes research in all aspects of heart disease, specialising in the imaging of the heart by ultrasound.
To find out more: http://cardiac-research.org