Researchers in the United States have announced that they have been able to develop a tiny artificial intestine, sparking hopes that new doors will be open for those people with intestine problems who are unable to opt for transplantation due to lack of suitable donors.
Dr John March from the Cornell University and Dr David Hackam from the University of Pittsburgh led the study into developing a tiny artificial intestine inside a test tube. The researchers said that they hoped to scale up the test tube in the next three years and ready the intestine for testing in humans.
Dr Hackam revealed that there are more than 25,000 children in the world suffering from an intestinal problem known as short bowel syndrome in which the patients are missing a piece of the intestine. While the possibility of finding a suitable donor is small, the rejection rate among those who have undergone the transplantation is more than 40 percent at the end of the first year.
The study has been funded by The Hartwell Foundation whose president, Frederick Dombrose said, "The generation of artificial organs represents an absolute holy grail in medical research; a transformative approach for children with short bowel syndrome that could benefit thousands of children by reducing morbidity and mortality."