Short bowel syndrome occurs in children with inadequate length of intestine to maintain normal digestion and absorption. These children are dependent on total parenteral nutrition for growth. The use of total parenteral nutrition, however, is associated with significant cost and morbidity. With recent advances in tissue engineering, it has been demonstrated that tissue substitutes can be made in the laboratory for many organs.
Our laboratory effort is focused on developing an intestinal tissue equivalent. We are using a genetically modified intestinal cell line that will be attached to a three-dimensional scaffold that mimics the normal intestinal mucosal surface. The cell-polymer construct will be implanted and retrieved from animal hosts. Ultimately these efforts will lead to new treatment options for patients with short bowel syndrome.
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