Injectable tissues on anvil
A simple injection that can help regrow damaged tissue has long been the dream
of physicians and patients alike. A new study from researchers at University of
British Columbia Okanagan campusmoves that dream closer to reality with a
device that makes encapsulating cells much faster, cheaper and more effective.
Everything from broken bones to torn ligaments could benefit from this kind of approach; even whole organs could be repaired as the technology improves.Cells on their own are delicate and do not survive when injected directly into the body.To ensure cell survival, they need to be encased in a coating that protects them from physical damage and from the body's own immune system.
Research in this area has been hampered by the cost and lack of availability of mass-produced cell encapsulated microgels. Now researchers have developed an equipment made up of readily available and inexpensive components that can produce thousands of cell-encapsulated microgels rapidly. This technology is expected to change the field of bio-engineering.