To ease shortage of organs, grow them in a lab?

NEW YORK (AP) — Doctors say it’ll be quite some time before solid donor organs like lungs and livers can be grown in a lab, but they’re working toward that for the future.

Scientists are hoping that patients eventually won’t have to wait months and months on a donor list, like a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl with cystic fibrosis did until she was allowed to receive a donor organ from an adult last week.

Here’s the dream scenario: A patient donates cells, either from a biopsy or from blood drawn. A lab would use the cells to seed onto a sort of template that’s shaped like the organ needed.

Dr. Harald Ott of Massachusetts General Hospital says that would create an organ that wouldn’t be rejected.

Two years ago, a Lewisburg, Pa., girl needed a crucial blood vessel. So researchers built her one in a lab, using cells from her own bone marrow. And just a few weeks ago, a girl in Peoria, Ill., became one of more than a dozen people to get an experimental windpipe that used a synthetic scaffold or template covered in stem cells from her own bone marrow.

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%@AP Links

048-a-12-(Abritee Dhal, PhD candidate, Wake Forest University, in AP interview)-”that are needed”-Researcher Abritee Dhal, at Wake Forest University, says work is underway to transform the livers from pigs into human livers, by washing away the original cellular structure and adding human cells. (17 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *048 (06/17/13)££ 00:12 “that are needed”

044-a-02-(Archive audio of Sarah Murnaghan (MUHRN’-uh-guhn), 10-year-old double lung transplant recipient, with reporters)-”for saying prayer”-In this archive audio of Sarah Murnaghan, the 10-year-old patient who needed a double lung transplant, thanks people for their prayers of support. ((note length of cut)) (17 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *044 (06/17/13)££ 00:02 “for saying prayer”

047-a-09-(Dr. Anthony Atala, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, in AP interview)-”their own scaffold”-Dr. Anthony Atala, at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, says they’re taking cells from a patient’s body, and then growing them on a biodegradable scaffold that is implanted. (17 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *047 (06/17/13)££ 00:09 “their own scaffold”

046-a-16-(Dr. Anthony Atala, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, in AP interview)-”or kicked out”-Dr. Anthony Atala, at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, says researchers are relying on the body’s ability to regenerate cells. (17 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *046 (06/17/13)££ 00:16 “or kicked out”

045-a-10-(Dr. Anthony Atala, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, in AP interview)-”more complex tissues”-Dr. Anthony Atala, at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, says, with the shortage of donated organs, they’re looking for ways to create them within the human body. (17 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *045 (06/17/13)££ 00:10 “more complex tissues”

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