How regenerative medicine and tissue engineering may complement the available armamentarium in gastroenterology?

Marco Carbone, Jan Lerut, James Neuberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The increasing shortage of donors and the adverse effects of immunosuppression have restricted the impact of solid organ transplantation. Despite the initial promising developments in xenotransplantation, roadblocks still need to be overcome and this form of organ support remains a long way from clinical practice. While hepatocyte transplantation may be effectively correct metabolic defects, it is far less effective in restoring liver function than liver transplantation. Tissue engineering, using extracellular matrix scaffolds with an intact but decellularized vascular network that is repopulated with autologous or allogeneic stem cells and/or adult cells, holds great promise for the treatment of failure of organs within gastrointestinal tract, such as endstage liver disease, pancreatic insufficiency, bowel failure and type 1 diabetes. Particularly in the liver field, where there is a significant mortality of patients awaiting transplant, human bioengineering may offer a source of readily available organs for transplantation. The use of autologous cells will mitigate the need for long term immunosuppression thus removing a major hurdle in transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6908-6917
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Cellular transplantation
  • Organ transplantation
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Tissue engineering
  • Xenotransplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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