Scientists help bodies grow new organs. 07/06/2006. ABC News Online

A team of scientists and surgeons at a Melbourne hospital has developed a method of growing new organs within a patient’s body.

Previously, scientists had only been able to create two-dimensional constructions such as skin.

But researchers at the Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital say have created three-dimensional cells.

The cells have been grown in a plastic chamber under the patients’ skin.

“We have developed a special chamber and this is essentially an empty box into which we implant a blood vessel using microsurgery techniques,” lead researcher Professor Wayne Morrison said.

“We let them grow according to the specific environment that we can create.

“Now currently we have been able to make breast tissue, fat, muscle, pancreas tissue that secretes insulin and we have also created thymus tissue, which may have an application in immunology.”

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