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Skin-like Tissue Developed from Stem Cells

Posted: July 30, 2009

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Following the isolation and characterization of these cell populations, the researchers incorporated them into an engineered, three-dimensional tissue system where they were grown at an air-liquid interface to mimic their growth environment in the oral cavity. Within two weeks, tissues developed that were similar in structure to those constructed using mature cells derived from newborn skin, which are the current gold standard for tissue fabrication.

“These engineered tissues are remarkably similar to their human counterparts and can be used to address major concerns facing the field of stem cell biology that are related to their clinical use. We can now use these engineered tissues as ‘tissue surrogates’ to begin to predict how stable and safe hESC-derived cells will be after therapeutic transplantation. Our goal is to produce functional tissues to treat oral and skin conditions, like the early stages of cancer and inflammatory disease, as well as to accelerate the healing of recalcitrant wounds,” said Garlick.

First author Kyle Hewitt is a graduate student in cell, molecular and developmental biology program at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Science at Tufts and is a member of Garlick’s lab. This study was supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health. Garlick is also director of the Center for Integrated Tissue Engineering (CITE) at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

Journal reference: Hewitt et al. Three-Dimensional Epithelial Tissues Generated from Human Embryonic Stem Cells. Tissue Engineering Part A, 2009; 090710171045048 DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2009.0060

Adapted from materials provided by Tufts University, Health Sciences.