Researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have recently made functional human intestinal tissue from pluripotent stem cells. The researchers project that this will push the boundaries of research into how the intestines develop and work. It will also help with understanding the diseases that affect this organ and aid in producing intestinal tissues for transplant.
The study’s senior investigator, James Wells, Ph.D, stated that this was the first time cells in a petri dish were programmed to efficiently mimic the cell structures of human intestinal tissue. Regarding the future applications of this find, he said, “The hope is that our ability to turn stem cells into intestinal tissue will eventually be therapeutically beneficial for people with diseases such as necrotizing enterocolitis, inflammatory bowel disease and short bowel syndrome.”