“Leveraging technology that would give us the capability to shrink the phases of drug testing in cancer and spare the animal use in research and most importantly would help us getting across some of the worldwide limitations in organ transplantation, such as high cost and the long waiting list “said Ahmed El Ghoneimy,CCHE’s orthopedic consultant and regenerative lab manager at the launch of the stem cells and regenerative orthopedic lab. The recently launched lab is primarily focused on the regeneration of bone tissue.
Current solutions for replacing structural bone defects have their pros and cons. One of the major disadvantages resides in the inability of some of the bone grafts and metallic implants to regenerate new bone as they lack the necessary cells and blood vessels.
Autologous vascularized bone grafts (transplanting of the bone tissue that are taken from the same patient), although having viable cells and blood vessels, are found in very limited sizes and shapes within the human body.
Let us consider the case of an 11 year old boy with a tumor in the hip bone that has to be resected to be treated. Because of his young age, traditional procedure of bone replacement might expose him to the risk of wound infection or to operate again to replace as the artificial bone doesn’t last forever. “The future possibility of using his stem cells to regenerate his hip bone may spare him the need for frequent surgeries as he grows up”, Elghonemy added.
In regenerative lab, the missing bone is simulated with a tissue that is regenerated in the lab – from stem cells and biomaterials (similar to biological tissue) and may be (plant /animal origin)– tissues that can be implanted within the body without body repulsion, with some maneuvers you can target stem cells to produce certain type of tissue in lab.
A main focus in current regenerative medicine research is the complexity of vascularizing the regenerated tissue.
Additive manufacturing using 3D printers is currently used in various bio manufacturing applications. Bio printing (ability to print tissue and cells simultaneously as well creating vascular channels) is one of the latest technologies that can boost the pace of research in regenerative medicine. Patient specific tissue or organ manufacturing (with precise anatomic, immunogenic and molecular matching) is the future of organ transplant in medicine and can share to a great extent in reshaping the future strategies for cancer treatment.