Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biomacromolecules. 2006 Oct;7(10):2701-9.

Tissue engineering of small intestine--current status.

Author information

Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Centre, Academic Division of Surgery and Interventional Sciences, University College London, London NW3 2PF, United Kingdom.


Short bowel syndrome (SBS) has always posed a great threat to patients and has been one of the biggest challenges for doctors due to its high morbidity and mortality. So far, parenteral nutrition (PN) and small bowel transplantation remain the only viable therapeutic options. However, sepsis and liver failure associated with PN and limited availability of the donor organs and high graft rejection rates associated with transplantation have limited their use to a nonpermanent solution. Clearly, there is a need for an alternative therapy whereby increasing the absorptive surface area would help neonates and adults suffering from permanent intestinal failure. Techniques such as sequential intestinal lengthening are being explored in animal models with little success. Attempts to engineer small intestine since the late 1980s have achieved varying degrees of success in animal models with evolving refinements in biotechnology. The most encouraging results so far have been the generation of intestinal neomucosa in the form of cysts when intestinal epithelial organoid units isolated from neonatal rats were seeded onto biodegradable polymers before implantation in syngeneic adult rats' omentum. Although still experimental, continued attempts worldwide using cultured stem cells and improved polymer technology offer promise to provide an off-the-shelf artificial intestine as a novel therapy for patients with SBS. This article reviews the current status of progress in the field of small intestinal tissue engineering and addresses various types of cell sources and scaffold material having potential to be used in this field.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Chemical Society
    Loading ...
    Support Center