CHAPTER 12: Intestinal Tissue Engineering with Intestinal Stem Cells
Published:03 May 2017
Intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), short bowel syndrome (SBS) and colorectal cancer (CRC) are challenging prevalent diseases, which have an unmet requirement of innovative and effective treatments. Tissue engineering has been proposed as a desirable cure, which needs two specific components in order to fulfil the growing therapeutic demands: cell sources and an environment for cell growth. Despite the variability of cell sources, intestinal stem cells (ISCs) represent appropriate characteristics, such as rapid cell proliferation and full-lineage differentiation into the intestinal epithelium, to be applied as a promising cell source. ISCs are capable of regenerating intestinal tissue and act as mini guts ex vivo and therefore have been selected for most of the intestinal research projects. ISCs need an environment that can fully grow and differentiate. Thus, favorable chemical and mechanical environments should be provided. Mechanical environments or scaffolds for cell residency such as PGA, PGA/PLLA and collagen etc. have been investigated. Furthermore, growth factors like GLP-2, EGF and VEGF have been tested in order to prepare a chemical environment that biomimics the intestinal tissue that allows the cells to have natural functionality. A combination of these three factors makes a thorough tissue-engineered intestine that can replace the injured organ. Each aspect of ISC-based tissue engineering needs to be focused in the future in order to improve its functionality and applicability in the human body.