[extropy-chat] Re: The Amazing Cellular Repair device

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Mon Oct 17 16:55:48 UTC 2005

Dunno if this has any bearing, might:


Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/10/16 23:16:25 GMT

New tissue 'grown within minutes'

UK scientists say they can cut the time it takes to grow new tissue from 
days to minutes.

The lengthy process can be accelerated by simply removing the water present 
in the starting material, the University College London team discovered.

Following such shrinkage by a factor of at least 100, tissues could be 
created in 35 minutes.

This speed may one day allow doctors to make tissue implants at the 
bedside, Advanced Functional Materials reports.

Currently, scientists make tissues to be used for operations such as skin 
grafts by building a scaffold of cells that grow in the lab.

However, it can take between one and 12 weeks to grow enough of the 
required tissue for the surgery.

Professor Robert Brown and colleagues investigated whether they could cut 
this time down.

They experimented on making a tissue called collagen, which acts as a 
structural support for skin, bones and tendons.

Sucking out the water using a technique called plastic compression meant 
they could make the collagen in just over half an hour.

The tissue was not only made much faster than that made in the conventional 
tissue engineering way, it also appeared to be stronger, more like real 

Professor Brown said: "Our method offers a simple and controllable means of 
quickly engineering tissue structures.

"The next stage is to test whether this method could help repair injured 

"Ultimately, the goal is to design a rapid, inexpensive, automatic process 
for creating strong tissues which could supply hospital surgical units with 
a tool kit of spare parts for reconstructive surgery.

"The speed and control it offers means that our method could one day be 
used to produce implant tissue at the bedside or in the operating theatre."

Professor Tim Hardingham, from the UK Centre for Tissue Engineering, said: 
"The method has great potential for further development in clinical 
applications of tissue repair where immediate mechanical strength is required.

"Its success in these applications will depend on how it is survives in the 
body and how it is remodelled by natural body processes.

"It also needs to be known whether it can act as a template that is 
replaced by normal functional tissue. The present work provides a good 
experimental basis for these further studies."

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