Latest news announced a cotton candy machine spins out artificial organs.
A team of scientists from Vanderbit Universit attempted to create artificial human organs using various techniques. In order to create tissue similar to real organs and maintaining the cells alive during the process, experts built a network of channels.
These channels enable fluids to flow in the system as capillaries do. In order to create capillaries, scientists describe two fundamental procedures: bottom-up and top-down. The bottom up technique allowed researchers to culture cells in a strip of solid gel. According to scientists, this procedure is not difficult, but it has one main disadvantage. It may take weeks before creating a cell network.
In this time, cells might die and the capillary will not be created. On the other hand, the top-down method managed to form networks with microchannels larger than 100 microns. However, the most intriguing procedure with the most effective results was the cotton candy approach. Experts used a cotton candy machine to see if they can find a way to create artificial human organs.
Their aim was to create livers with veins or capillaries by using only a $40 cotton candy machine. However, instead of pouring sugar on the machine, they added hydrogel. The hydrogel is like a web of hydrophilic polymer chains in which water plays an extremely important role. They are highly absorbent; the amount of water can surpass 90 percent.
Also, hydrogel can be as flexible as human tissue because of its high amount of water. After they spun the hydrogel, the experts mixed up a solution with human cells. Moreover, researchers added an enzyme known as transglutaminase or ‘meat glue’ which allowed the mixture to irreversibly gel.
Next, the mixture was combined with the hydrogel. After the mixture cooled, the hydrogel threads dissolved. This resulted in a very complicated network of small passages. The hydrogel is like a web of hydrophilic polymer chains in which water plays an extremely important role.
They are highly absorbent; the amount of water can surpass 90 percent. Also, hydrogel can be as flexible as human tissue because of its high amount of water. Afterwards, the researchers attached pumps to the network and began perfusing them with cell cultures containing necessary chemicals and oxygen.
Experts believe these incredible results will allow them to improve their machine so as to explore more cell types.Leon Bellan, one of the scientists involved in the study, said:
“Some people in the field think this approach is a little crazy, but now we’ve shown we can use this simple technique to make microfluidic networks that mimic the three-dimensional capillary system in the human body in a cell-friendly fashion.’
The fact that a cotton candy machine spins out artificial organs proved to be a great improvement over current procedures.
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