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An assembled tissue using four blocks. One block contains is cross shaped and contains cell stained green. The other three are rod shaped and have red stained cells. For reference the rods are 200 micrometers across.  (Source: Ali Khademhosseini )
New research yields self-assembling tissues, paves the way for replacement organs

Tissue engineers like to dream big.  They envision a world where one day a patient will donate a few cells and new, young healthy organs will be grown to replace ailing parts of the body.  From appearance and athletic upgrades, through new integumentary tissues like skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, to essential organs, the technology may one day grant virtual immortality (though a brain transplant could be a curious proposition).

The engineers are aiming to start simple, regrowing commonly failing organs like the pancreas and kidneys.  In order to build these more complex structures, scientists have to learn ways to build up from a cellular level.

Some of the first successful progress in this endeavor was announced by bioengineers at MIT and Harvard Medical School participating in groundbreaking new research.  The engineers have created living blocks which they nickname living Legos, after the popular children's toy.  These blocks consist of biofriendly shapable gels with living cells immersed within.  These gels were shown in the research to be capable of shaping and producing advanced tissues similar to those found in organs.

Ali Khademhosseini, a bioengineer at Harvard Medical School describes, "Living tissues have repeating functional units."

He points to the liver, which is formed of repeating hexagonal lobes, which surround central blood vessels, providing blood filtration.  While previous attempts have been made which "rely on the cells to self-assemble and re-create structures found in the body" by growing them on scaffolds in a top down approach, they have been relatively unsuccessful.  Khademhosseini says the new method works from the bottom (cellular) up (to tissue level) and is much more promising as it works more like how the body grows organs in the first place.

His research is focused on carefully regulating tissue development from a cellular level by controlling a variety of factors.  The cells used are suspended in polyethylene glycol, a biocompatible polymer.  He pours the polymer/cell mix into tiny jello-like molds in shapes such as blocks, stars, spheres.

The molded polymers are then flashed with light to harden.  The tiny structures measuring only hundreds of micrometers are then painstakingly pieced together.  Once the smaller units are placed in contact they are glued together by more light hardening and the tissues begin to grow.

To help make the process easier scientist take advantage of the fact that the polymers are hydrophilic (water absorbing) by placing them first in water and then putting them in a bath of mineral oil, the oil pushes the little units together via hydrophobic effects, forming masses of branching tissue that can then start to grow and self assemble.  Light hardens these masses, making sure they stay together.  The shapes of tissue formed can be control by agitation of the oil and the shapes of the microunits.

The research findings were reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal and can be found here.

This technology, when combined with other bioengineering technologies profiled here at DailyTech -- such as synthetic stem cell creation and artificial blood vessel growth -- may cumulative allow the first synthetically produced organs in coming years.


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No disassemble!
By MrBlastman on 7/15/2008 2:18:34 PM , Rating: 5
Johnny 5 no disassemble, Johnny 5 is Alive! We will now re-assemble!

Pretty neat stuff.




RE: No disassemble!
By shaw on 7/15/2008 2:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
More like..

As long as these nanomachines run through me, I will never go down!


RE: No disassemble!
By MrBlastman on 7/15/2008 2:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
Sid 6.7 would be proud.


RE: No disassemble!
By HaZaRd2K6 on 7/15/2008 2:40:59 PM , Rating: 2
So would Jake 2.0


RE: No disassemble!
By MrBlastman on 7/15/2008 2:46:46 PM , Rating: 1
Sid 6.7 could beat him with his superior fisticuff skills. ;)

He sails the world just looking for a fight.


RE: No disassemble!
By jlips6 on 7/15/2008 6:03:53 PM , Rating: 5
oy kids! I'm Russel Crow! makin' movies, makin' songs an' fightin' round the world!

Now I couldn't actually find cancer, but I found a guy with cancer, and beat him up! Take that cancer!

on the combined topics of fighting, sailing the world and medicine


RE: No disassemble!
By FaceMaster on 7/15/2008 2:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
Judging by the state of my tissues it's just cheaper and more hygienic to buy another box down at ASDA.


RE: No disassemble!
By Chudilo on 7/15/2008 2:52:03 PM , Rating: 4
I'm thinking of the Fifth Element scenario where they rebuilt Mila Jovovich from a fragment of an arm :)


RE: No disassemble!
By Carter642 on 7/15/2008 6:17:34 PM , Rating: 5
Now i need to figure out how to get ahold of a piece of her arm. Thanks Science!


So if they can makes molds for them....
By Smartless on 7/15/2008 3:00:02 PM , Rating: 5
So you theoretically could have organs in the shape of hearts, stars, moons, clovers, horseshoes, and now red balloons.




RE: So if they can makes molds for them....
By MrBlastman on 7/15/2008 3:01:31 PM , Rating: 4
Magically delicious!


By TheDoc9 on 7/15/2008 3:12:15 PM , Rating: 1
LOL!! deserves a 7.


By Whedonic on 7/15/2008 5:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, this could start up a market for human organs as food...I bet there are people out there who would pay big money to eat an artificially grown human spleen.


Wrong Picture
By gigahertz20 on 7/15/2008 2:47:30 PM , Rating: 1
Should have used Highlander and not Vegeta from Dragonballz, he had nothing to do with immortality.




RE: Wrong Picture
By angryandroid on 7/15/2008 3:08:18 PM , Rating: 3
No, he wanted the Dragonballs to grant him the wish of imortality. Which didn't work out too well for him.

Sorry, one of my favourite shows from childhood.


RE: Wrong Picture
By threepac3 on 7/15/2008 3:24:25 PM , Rating: 3
Except for the fact he wanted to use the dragon balls to become immortal.


RE: Wrong Picture
By Harkonnen on 7/15/2008 8:15:10 PM , Rating: 3
Should have just used a picture of Cell instead of Vegeta.


RE: the picture
By angryandroid on 7/15/2008 2:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't Vegeta die several times on the quest for imortality? Slightly ironic.

I just hope to see this sort of technology in my lifetime as 70-80 years just isn't enough for me!




RE: the picture
By DASQ on 7/15/2008 5:25:55 PM , Rating: 3
Well doesn't dying a couple times in the quest of immortality really prove above all else that immortality was at least partially achieved?


So cool...
By Jackattak on 7/15/2008 5:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
This is so freakin' cool.

That's all I got. I'm gonna go smoke a cig now. I mean, what difference does it make, now? LMAO

Jackattak




RE: So cool...
By DASQ on 7/15/2008 6:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
It makes smoking utterly redundant, if anything.

We'll be able to kill you much faster without needing the cigarettes. Oh, and I guess the chemicals can be easily simulated too :p


proud of you
By Screwballl on 7/15/2008 3:01:23 PM , Rating: 3
Daneel Olivaw and Gladia Delmarre would be proud of the advances




eye catching research...
By James Wood Carter on 7/15/2008 7:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
Again it may sound as if this can be used in comming years to "grow" organs, but i doubt that this will be any time soon. when it said controlling a range of factors, its not that simple. to make cells function as tissues coordinate stages of develpoment needs to be regulated, since we currently know very little how development of organs actually occur it would be suprising if it is actually do-able using current knowledge.




By wordsworm on 7/15/2008 9:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
Somehow, I think dolls will never be the same. Just inject them with these cells, and voila, a real living creature!

Somehow this seems to be the kind of technology that could allow us to really become creative - we could possibly create new species. This stuff could really be fun. It almost makes me wish I'd studied biology in school.




But the real question is...
By Indianapolis on 7/15/2008 11:34:06 PM , Rating: 2
But the real question is, can they grow a bigger organ?




Would immortality...
By daar on 7/16/2008 12:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
...be offered through health care if it existed? I'm dying from age, you must save meh~~~




all i have to say is...
By AmishElvis on 7/15/08, Rating: 0
Have we gone too far?
By paleguy on 7/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: Have we gone too far?
By MrBlastman on 7/15/2008 2:49:57 PM , Rating: 5
Around these parts, I'd advise you take the Wookie Defense on this one...


RE: Have we gone too far?
By jgigz on 7/15/2008 2:51:09 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
If a god does not exist, then how would the concept have come about?


The same way unicorns, dragons, rational females, and other make believe concepts and ideas have formed, human imagination. Just because science can not currently offer an explanation does not mean that it can never find an answer.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By paleguy on 7/15/2008 2:56:52 PM , Rating: 2
Good point.

Although humorous, I know what you mean.

But each of those things you mentioned spring from something conceivable.

How could a concept such as a creator be conceived if it were never there? Why is it even a question? For if a god did not exist, the concept couldn't be formed, right?

Not to doubt science, but how could science explain something intangible? We cannot touch, or see our conscience, but we know it's there.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By jgigz on 7/15/2008 3:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But each of those things you mentioned spring from something conceivable.


Is it so far fetched that to think that we made a correlation between our own birth process (essentially creating something) and came up with the answer that we too, were created from a higher being?

At the time though, the evidence could have suggested forces out of our control, and thus lead primitive logic to such a concept. just because something has never or will ever exist doesn't mean the concept cannot be conceived.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By TheDoc9 on 7/15/2008 3:31:45 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
just because something has never or will ever exist doesn't mean the concept cannot be conceived.


Just because something does exist doesn't mean we have to accept it as such either.

Why would someone not want to believe in a creator? Perhaps it's because if that were the case, we would have to answer for our actions to a higher authority. We would actually have to practice self control and not do everything that we wanted to do that might be taking advantage of or harmful to others.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By jgigz on 7/15/2008 3:41:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Why would someone not want to believe in a creator? Perhaps it's because if that were the case, we would have to answer for our actions to a higher authority


I love how you pretty much make the assessment that anyone who doesn't believe in a creator has no morals. Which is rather irrelevant to the discussion.

quote:
Just because something does exist doesn't mean we have to accept it as such either.


I never said that we had to accept it as such. I was merely presenting both end of the spectrum for the sake of argument.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By elgoliath on 7/16/2008 5:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it's that people don't want to believe in a creator, it's just when other people start assigning attributes and personalities to such a being and passing it off as the only true and correct version that people shy away.

I think most people, regardless of which religion they affiliate with, recognize that it is futile and asinine to say that a supposed perfect being would be afflicted with such basic human qualities such as greed and wrath which is how the creator is personified usually in mainstream religion.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By masher2 (blog) on 7/15/2008 3:22:13 PM , Rating: 2
> "How could a concept such as a creator be conceived if it were never there?"

Essentially what you're proposing is a variant of the old Ontological argument for the existence of God.

> "how could science explain something intangible? We cannot touch, or see our conscience, but we know it's there. "

If a conscience exists, science can measure its effects indirectly, just as evidence for dark matter or quarks is gathered, though we will never see nor touch either.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By Polynikes on 7/15/08, Rating: 0
RE: Have we gone too far?
By niva on 7/15/2008 3:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How could a car be conceived without existing first? Oh, that's right, someone thought it up!


Yeah but what he's talking about is like the car asking how it came into being... religious people are so cute :)


RE: Have we gone too far?
By paleguy on 7/15/2008 4:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
I see your point. But still, the concept of an automobile stems from something that existed before it, which the human mind eventually put the pieces together and realized, “hey, if I put the TANGIBLE pieces together, I can form something (a car) out of it.”

And speaking constructing an automobile…wouldn’t it be considered fantastical for someone to believe that a car, with all its intricacies, sprang from disorder, or by haphazard chance?

Take a wrist watch for example:

If you were to take that watch apart, throw it in an electric clothes dryer, would it come out as it was prior you taking it apart?

I’m not trying to be dogmatic, like some religious fanatic. I’m just trying to reason, or enjoy intelligent discussion and interchange of thoughts. I’m not arguing, I’m questioning.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By Jellodyne on 7/15/2008 5:22:48 PM , Rating: 1
> If you were to take that watch apart, throw it in an electric clothes dryer, would it come out as it was prior you taking it apart?

What, in a single 45 minute cycle? You ever hear of a watched pot?

How about a billion piles of watch parts, over the course of a million years, and the requirements aren't a perfect watch which tells time, exactly, just something vaguely watchlike with moving gears, that ticks?

Doesn't seem all that unlikely, assuming your brain can cope with the huge numbers involved, which, btwe, it can't.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By Polynikes on 7/16/2008 11:28:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And speaking constructing an automobile…wouldn’t it be considered fantastical for someone to believe that a car, with all its intricacies, sprang from disorder, or by haphazard chance?
There have been plenty of great inventions that were discovered by chance, on accident.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1154/is_v75...
quote:
If you were to take that watch apart, throw it in an electric clothes dryer, would it come out as it was prior you taking it apart?
Maybe, maybe not. What's the point of your question? Are you trying to insinuate that God made it fall apart? It doesn't make any sense.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By paleguy on 7/15/2008 4:28:34 PM , Rating: 2
I see your point. But still, the concept of an automobile stems from something that existed before it, which the human mind eventually put the pieces together and realized, “hey, if I put the TANGIBLE pieces together, I can form something (a car) out of it.”

And speaking constructing an automobile…wouldn’t it be considered fantastical for someone to believe that a car, with all its intricacies, sprang from disorder, or by haphazard chance?

Take a wrist watch for example:

If you were to take that watch apart, throw it in an electric clothes dryer, would it come out as it was prior you taking it apart?

I’m not trying to be dogmatic, like some religious fanatic. I’m just trying to reason, or enjoy intelligent discussion and interchange of thoughts. I’m not arguing, I’m questioning.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By paleguy on 7/15/2008 4:30:07 PM , Rating: 2
I see your point. But still, the concept of an automobile stems from something that existed before it, which the human mind eventually put the pieces together and realized, “hey, if I put the TANGIBLE pieces together, I can form something (a car) out of it.”

And speaking constructing an automobile…wouldn’t it be considered fantastical for someone to believe that a car, with all its intricacies, sprang from disorder, or by haphazard chance?

Take a wrist watch for example:

If you were to take that watch apart, throw it in an electric clothes dryer, would it come out as it was prior you taking it apart?

I’m not trying to be dogmatic, like some religious fanatic. I’m just trying to reason, or enjoy intelligent discussion and interchange of thoughts. I’m not arguing, I’m questioning.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By DASQ on 7/15/2008 5:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
You can really say that the car was just a byproduct of the discovery of the wheel. From some caveman seeing a round rock rolling down the hill.

I'd say that's haphazard chance and just a byproduct of eventual chaos. We had one wheel. It turned into two for a chariot/wheelbarrow. It was quickly upscaled to a four wheeled cart.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By peter7921 on 7/15/2008 9:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is God(religion), was a gradual process itself. Take the greek gods, they where beings like humans (mischievous, jealous etc..) but immortal and with powers. Add Judaism, and a little Plato and you have Christianity.

As far as intangible concepts, how about infinity, or alot of advanced mathematics.

I think the human mind can conceive the concept of God, peoples natural fear of death, there need for a purpose in life, and a way to deal with all the turmoil, poverty and disaster that happens in life.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By isorfir on 7/15/2008 2:56:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If a god does not exist, then how would the concept have come about?

There are innumerable things that we can imagine, but that does not mean they exist; Unicorns, Dragons, Magic, Santa Claus for example. We grow up and have no problem separating fantasy from reality.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By Cosworth on 7/15/2008 2:58:32 PM , Rating: 3
But... What do you mean Santa's not real?? :(


RE: Have we gone too far?
By ahodge on 7/15/2008 4:39:57 PM , Rating: 1
Wait, I thought Santa was the creator. Or was it the Unicorns?
How do the "goddies" rationalize that we've now actually witnessed and reproduced EVOLUTION in bacteria?
I'm sorry, but faith has no place in a discussion of science. Faith is about believing in things that cannot (currently) be proven or disproven. Science is about proving things, figuring things out, not just believing in fantasies. Prove to me creationism. We can prove evolution.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By paleguy on 7/15/2008 5:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
Wow! I just love the condescending sarcasm. It's so tactful. Even better than that, is your solidified, factual, incontrovertible arguments. Well, since evolution has been "proven", I should no longer question. Thanks for the wisdom and insight...whew! Now I feel better.

A while back, I took a trip to Death Valley, and as I was strolling along and pondering the beauty of the desert; I came along this very nice, cozy house. I walked in and noticed that it was fully furnished. It had everything I needed; an irrigation system, a garden in the back with fruits and vegetables. There was a refrigerator stocked with fresh meat and eggs. Then the thought occurred to me…”it really is amazing that this house just haphazardly appeared fully stocked with all the essentials for me to, not only live, but enjoy it.”

And your mis-guided perception says that I BELIEVE A FANTASY? C’mon, you gotta to come up with a better argument than your elementary sarcasm, to convince me, that I, an intelligent, decision making, reasoning life form, sprang from blind chance.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By Jackattak on 7/15/2008 5:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
C’mon, you gotta to come up with a better argument than your elementary sarcasm, to convince me, that I, an intelligent, decision making, reasoning life form, sprang from blind chance.


Based on this science, you yourself might not have, but I have a feeling the next generations are going to.

;)


RE: Have we gone too far?
By Jellodyne on 7/15/2008 5:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
> A while back, I took a trip to Death Valley, and as I was strolling along and pondering the beauty of the desert; I came along this very nice, cozy house. I walked in and noticed that it was fully furnished...

OK, stop. The rational explantaion is that he house belonged to someone else, and that you were breaking and entering.

Its amazing that throughout nature, plants and animals are perfect fits for their environment. You can subcribe to one of two solutions. 1) God made them that way or 2) that they evolved to fit the circumstances -- so the earth is Eden not to fit us, but because we developed to match it. IN FACT, since we now know that conditions on the planet are constantly evolving, ONLY evolution fits the bill, since your doctrine (likely) says that God created all these species at the beginning and they haven't changed much in the last (and first) 6000 years. There was a great documentary on the Galapogos on NatGeo channel the other day. God or whatever takes a very active role in shaping each species. Call it what you will.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By Icelight on 7/15/2008 5:14:34 PM , Rating: 1
Ban this chap for spreading lies.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By paleguy on 7/15/2008 5:44:27 PM , Rating: 2
Trust me; I am far from fanatical, and I can’t stand self righteous, wacko, religious freaks. But I am utterly disappointed with the lack of foundation with these responses. I expected much more from “intellectuals.” You say ban me from spreading lies? I am simply asking questions and hoping to get a reasonable, not argumentative, response. Well, my hopes have been dashed to pieces. How foolish of me to think that I could enjoy a humble discussion with others of different opinions. It seems that your “faith” is based on ego and expedience, not sound reasoning. I’m sorry I wasted everyone’s time with valid questions. Believe me, you will never here from me again on this site. The insufficient responses, drenched with arrogance and egotism is enough for me to realize that I simply don’t belong here.

Swallow your pride and realize that not everyone with a different view is out to crush yours. Granted, some are, but I am certainly not. Drop the dogmatic approach and be willing to except the idea that you just might be wrong sometimes. It's OK, really. I'm wrong A LOT...and maybe I am on this matter...?

Take care.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By just4U on 7/16/2008 3:02:14 AM , Rating: 3
I agree with your post here. It speaks of a minor problem that I see on DailyTech. But perhaps it's not the best venue for discussing certain topics is all. Being as it is a open forum you learn to accept that not everything you have to say is going to be looked upon favorably. No matter how well it is presented.

Not a biggie, and not worth leaving over. Just move on to the next topic. <shrug>



RE: Have we gone too far?
By Icelight on 7/16/2008 9:16:32 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, my post was not meant to be taken seriously :)


RE: Have we gone too far?
By Silver2k7 on 7/16/2008 2:56:28 AM , Rating: 2
"We grow up and have no problem separating fantasy from reality. "

This might be the problem since one of the smartest people that have ever lived who who created electricity and radio among other things, had such a vivid imagination that he could build thing entirely in his mind.. building something then then doing a test run in his head.. until finally becoming satisfied that it was now working as it should.. building one for real. Im talking of course of Nicola Tesla.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By pauldovi on 7/15/2008 5:52:19 PM , Rating: 1
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely..."


RE: Have we gone too far?
By TSS on 7/15/2008 7:51:06 PM , Rating: 1
maybe without knowing it you've made a good point. not in trying to convince me god exists, but if he does exist (i don't believe but hey, ya never know) and i'd be allowed to ask 1 question i'd ask him "where did you come from?".

if it where true that he created man kind and the universe in 7 days, who created god? who does god worship? if the awnser is god has existed as long as time has, who created time? god's god?

science can explain god. it's nothing more then the human fears of the irrational and unknown, quelled by the soothing thought that something concience like themselves is behind it. pleasing it with praise, or angering it with sins, leads to the "unexplainable" events which just happen.

well, that second sentance explains the church system, not god himself. whatever the case might be, people won't stop questioning stuff anyway. and i'd rather be on the side of science, which embraces it, then the church, which despises it.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By just4U on 7/16/2008 3:42:53 AM , Rating: 2
I think your being a little premature in believing that Science has a working explaination for "GOD". I also think that you hold some false assumption(s) about the people who bring such things into the topic for discussion.

From what I've seen (of the majority) their not asking you to believe anything but rather stating something and then waiting for feedback on what they have posted.


RE: Have we gone too far?
By tmouse on 7/16/2008 7:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
Well for all of this rhetoric the problem is there is no competition between science and theology. A good scientist should limit themselves to answer how something happens; likewise theology’s main focus should be on why something happens. The problems arise when theologians try to answer how something happens; one has to ask whether you prefer your god as a magician or an artist. Likewise science has no stake in determining why something happens, so randomness is a default answer. Science cannot disprove the existence of anything (to do so you would need to show you have all of the knowledge in the universe and the fact you wish to disprove in not there) so the pursuit is meaningless. For the religious; faith means not having to prove; to seek to do so implies a weakness in faith, and it shouldn't matter whether any previous conception is show to happen in another way they can always say it happens as the will of god and no one can ever prove them wrong (except maybe god).


RE: Have we gone too far?
By RDC on 7/17/2008 4:37:12 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
If a god does not exist, then how would the concept have come about?

Someone already mentioned the possibility of analogy. Since the humans created fire/housing/clothing/primitive jewelery it is likely that some guy stopped for a moment and asked himself: "Me make shiny rock on string! What make me?" Thus the idea of a creator could have come to pass. That, coupled with the natural fear of something that is potentially more powerful than oneself and cannot be controlled, could have given birth to the idea of a GOD (not necessarily like the Christian understanding of it).


RE: Have we gone too far?
By Spectator on 7/20/2008 12:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
If we evolved as generally excepted.

Can someone explain to me why we have evolved to have such a grossly inefficient Brain. ?. its massive and we dont even use most of it.

How does that sht work.

Spectator.


"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher














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