Researchers from Children's Hospital of Boston have reconstructed defective windpipes using tissue engineering in fetal lambs. The researchers used amniotic fluid for growing the sections of cartilage tube and then implanted these living tissues into lambs, while they were in the womb. This technique of tissue engineering is used for altering birth defects. Undifferentiated stem cell from amniotic fluid, which is collected during pregnancy, is used for producing the required cells. Mesenchymal stem cells descend directly from embryonic stem cells and are abundant in the amniotic fluid. They specialize in making connective tissues, including muscle, bone, cartilage, fat and tendon.
Babies born with incomplete, malformed or missing tracheas cannot breathe and must immediately go on heart-lung bypass, which can cause neurologic and other complications, can be treated using tissue culture techniques. "These are all makeshift solutions, and they're fraught with complications - infection, narrowing of the trachea, reoperation," Fauza says.
The researchers, used mesenchymal cells from amniotic fluids to culture the cells and grow them in cell culture tubes, with the required nutrients and when the grafts with the engineered tissues were ready they were reconstructed on to the lambs. Four to five weeks later, the lambs were born, and all five lambs that survived to term were able to breathe spontaneously at birth, four of them with no sign of respiratory distress. The researchers have used cells from ear and bone marrow to develop cartilage cells. Very small amount of amniotic fluid is required to develop fetal cells and to repair malformation in newborn babies.
Source: News wise