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J Pediatr Surg. 1988 Jan;23(1 Pt 2):3-9.

Selective cell transplantation using bioabsorbable artificial polymers as matrices.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.


To date, selective cell transplantation has involved injecting cell suspensions into tissues or the vascular system. This study describes attaching cell preparations to bioerodable artificial polymers in cell culture and then implanting this polymer-cell scaffold into animals. Using standard techniques of cell harvest, single cells and clusters of fetal and adult rat and mouse hepatocytes, pancreatic islet cells, and small intestinal cells have been seeded onto biodegradable polymers of polyglactin 910, polyanhydrides, and polyorthoester. Sixty-five fetuses and 14 adult animals served as donors. One hundred fifteen polymer scaffolds were implanted into 70 recipient animals: 66 seeded with hepatocytes; 23 with intestinal cells and clusters; and 26 with pancreatic islet preparations. The cells remained viable in culture, and in the case of fetal intestine and fetal hepatocytes, appeared to proliferate while on the polymer. After four days in culture, the cell-polymer scaffolds were implanted into host animals, either in the omentum, the interscapular fat pad, or the mesentery. In three cases of fetal intestinal implantation coupled with partial hepatectomy, successful engraftment occurred in the omentum, one forming a visible 6.0 mm cyst. Three cases of hepatocyte implantation, one using adult cells and two using fetal cells, have also engrafted, showing viability of hepatocytes, mitotic figures, and vascularization of the cell mass. To date, no pancreatic islets have survived implantation. This method of cell transplantation, which we have termed "chimeric neomorphogenesis," is an alternative to current methods and requires further study.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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