News FocusTISSUE ENGINEERING

Lab-Grown Organs Begin to Take Shape

Science  16 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5413, pp. 422-425
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5413.422

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Summary

With the need for transplant organs and tissues growing, researchers are making progress toward developing them artificially, using cultured cells and special polymers. Two months ago a team reported in Nature Biotechnology that it had used tissue engineering to produce new urinary bladders that appeared to work normally in dogs. And on page 489, researchers report growing functioning pig arteries. Less advanced, but showing progress, are efforts to engineer tissues to fill in for failing hearts, livers, and kidneys--organs for which the demand for transplants far outstrips supply.