Estômago Geral

Tiny human stomachs grown in the lab

Escrito por Carla Brito Lopes

Scientists have successfully grown miniature stomachs in the lab from human stem cells, guiding them through the stages of development seen in an embryo. The lumps of living tissue, which are no bigger than a sesame seed, have a gland structure that is similar to human stomachs and can even harbour gut bacteria.

The feat, reported in this week’s Nature1, offers a window to how cells in human embryos morph into organs. Scientists say that these ‘gastric organoids’ could also be used to understand diseases such as cancer, and to test the stomach’s response to drugs.

“This is extremely exciting,” says Calvin Kuo, a stem-cell biologist at Stanford University in California. “To be able to recapitulate that in a dish is quite a technical achievement.”

The stem cells used to grow the mini stomachs are pluripotent, or plastic: given the right environment, they can mature into any type of cell. But to coax them down a specific path in the lab requires recreating the precise sequence and timing of environmental cues in the womb — the signals from proteins and hormones that tell cells what kind of tissue to become. Bits of kidney, liver, brain and intestine have previously been grown in a lab dish using this technique.


Article first published: 29 October 2014
URL: here

Copyright: Reprinted with permission from Nature Publishing Group (“Nature Publishing Group”) through Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service.

Sobre o autor

Carla Brito Lopes

Carla nasceu a 14 de Fevereiro de 1977 em Viana do Castelo. Completou o bacharelato em Anatomia Patológica, Citológica e Tanatológica na ESTES-Porto em 1998 e licenciou-se em 2001 pela Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde em Lisboa. Concluiu a certificação em Laboratory Management pela ASCP (American Association of Clinical Pathology) em Setembro de 2016.
Actualmente encontra-se a frequentar mestrado em Genética Molecular e Biomedicina na Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa.