The digestive tract is designed for the optimal processing of food that nourishes all organ systems. The esophagus, stomach, small bowel, and colon are sophisticated neuromuscular tubes with specialized sphincters that transport ingested food-stuffs from one region to another. Peristaltic contractions move ingested solids and liquids from the esophagus into the stomach; the stomach mixes the ingested nutrients into chyme and empties chyme from the stomach into the duodenum. The to-and-fro movement of the small bowel maximizes absorption of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Peristaltic contractions are necessary for colon function and defecation.
"Many challenges for regenerative medicine approaches remain: identifying sources for cells, construction of scaffolds that result in the proper three-dimensional growth of the selected cells into the desired organ, physiological orientation of the component layers of the wall of the gastrointestinal organs, and the functional integration of the key cells: smooth muscle, enteric nerves, and ICCs . We also feel that without genetic modification or the ability to manipulate the immune system, autologous cells and/or stem cell-derived organs will not necessarily correct diseases resulting from genetic disorders, or diseases caused by an impairment of the immune system. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The field of stem cell research has been rapidly expanding. Although the clinical usefulness of research remains to be ascertained through human trials, the use of stem cells as a therapeutic option for currently disabling diseases holds fascinating potential. Many pediatric gastrointestinal tract diseases have defect in enterocytes, enteric nervous system cells, smooth muscles, and interstitial cells of Cajal. Various kinds of therapeutic trials using stem cells could be applied to these diseases. This review article focuses on the recent achievements in stem cell applications for pediatric gastrointestinal tract diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This special issue of World Journal of Gastroenterology has been conceived to illustrate to gastroenterology operators the role that regenerative medicine (RM) will have in the progress of gastrointestinal (GI) medicine. RM is a multidisciplinary field aiming to replace, regenerate or repair diseased tissues or organs. The past decade has been marked by numerous ground-breaking achievements that led experts in the field to manufacture functional substitutes of relatively simple organs. This progress is paving the ground for investigations that aims to the bioengineering and regeneration of more complex organs like livers, pancreas and intestine. In this special issue, the reader will be introduced, hand-in-hand, to explore the field of RM and will be educated on the progress, pitfalls and promise of RM technologies as applied to GI medicine.
World Journal of Gastroenterology 12/2012; 18(47):6874-5. DOI:10.3748/wjg.v18.i47.6874 · 2.37 Impact Factor
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