(Mirror Daily, United States) – A team of Japanese scientists created fully-functioning skin from stem cells. The procedure was only done on mice, but the researchers are hopeful that they can do the same with human tissue.
The Japanese scientists managed to create fully-functioning skin and transplant it to mice. The rodents did not show any signs of rejection, by the contrary, the synthetic surface bonded so well with muscle fibers and nerves that it even started to grow hair and release sweat.
In other words, the lab-grown tissue acted exactly like a patch of healthy skin. The findings encouraged scientist to keep on working on their method until they perfect it for human trials.
When they succeed in creating synthetic human tissue, they will be able to help burn victims, people with rare skin diseases and even bald individuals.
Not to mention the fact that human tissue grown in laboratory conditions could replace the rabbits, guinea pigs and cats that are currently use for cosmetic testing. Apart from the humane factor, the artificial skin could render better results in testing any allergenic or toxic ingredients.
But it seems that the researchers believe that it will take an additional three years to translate the procedure to human use.
There have been other attempts at building artificial human tissue in a laboratory. But all previous attempts ended in incomplete samples. Most of the skin samples created by previous researchers only featured two out of the three layers that tissue regularly has.
But Takashi Tsuji’s team managed to build mass with all three layers of skin and hair follicles and sweat glands. The skin samples that they applied on mice bonded perfectly with the host’s organism, acting exactly like normal healthy skin would by eliminating sweat and growing hair.
In order to develop the artificial tissue, the team collected cells from a mouse’s gums. They then transformed them into a sort of stem cells called iPS cells. The iPS cells were chemically manipulated to act like stem cells harvested from an embryo.
Once they managed to harvest enough cells and grow the tissue samples, the researchers then transplanted the skin onto healthy, immunosuppressed, hairless mice.
The artificial surface bonded harmoniously with the muscles and nerves of the rodents. Furthermore, according to the article published in Science Advances, the transplanted patches of tissue even managed to produce sweat, natural oils, and hair.
Burn victims will soon have it easier as scientists created fully-functioning skin in laboratory conditions.
Image source: Wikimedia