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ASAIO J. 1993 Jul-Sep;39(3):M554-7.

A hybrid artificial esophagus using cultured human esophageal epithelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.


It is important to cover an artificial esophagus with epithelium to prevent stenosis and reinforce the lumen. We examined the possibility of epithelialization of the surface of a latissimus dorsi muscle of athymic mice using cultured human esophageal epithelial cells. Normal human esophageal mucosa (0.5 cm2) was processed from specimens resected from patients with esophageal cancer, and epithelial cells were cultured on collagen gel in a culture dish (30 cm2) for about 10 days. The collagen sheets with cultured cells were transplanted onto the surface of latissimus dorsi muscles of 16 athymic mice. Four animals were killed 4, 8, 12, and 16 days after transplantation, and the transplanted collagen sheets were studied histologically. Cultured sheets had attached to the muscle in all 16 athymic mice. By 16 days, neovascularization in the collagen layer was observed and the epithelial cell layer was similar to normal human esophageal epithelium. This study suggests that epithelialization on latissimus dorsi muscle is possible using cultured human esophageal epithelial cells, and this could lead to the practical use of a hybrid artificial esophagus consisting of a latissimus dorsi muscle tube with its inner side epithelialized by cultured cells.

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