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3D-culture of intestinal stem cells using an extracellular matrix hydrogel derived from decellularised intestinal tissue

      Irreversible intestinal failure (IIF) is a condition that can lead to significant morbidity and mortality and occurs as a result of anatomical or functional loss of the intestine. Many patients eventually require an intestinal transplant, which is unfortunately limited by poor survival (65% 1-year survival) and a scarcity of donor organs. Intestinal tissue engineering is one potential solution to this problem. Stem cells isolated from the crypt of the intestine are an ideal cell source for this approach. However, they require 3D cell expansion in a commercially available hydrogel, Matrigel®, which is currently not approved for clinical use. This represents a major limitation in an otherwise extremely promising treatment option. This study aims to characterise and optimise an extracellular matrix hydrogel derived from decellularised intestinal tissue for use in intestinal tissue engineering applications. Due to its origin, the gel already possesses the extracellular matrix (ECM) components of the native tissue thus providing a familiar natural environment to the intestinal cells.
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