The new bags facilitate the sterile handling of cell cultures. Previously, researchers and clinicians had to use open Petri dishes, bottles or bioreactors. As these systems need to be opened, at least for filling, contamination can easily occur. By contrast, when using the new technology with its sealed bag system, the cells migrate directly into the bag via an injection needle or connected tube systems without coming into contact with their surroundings. The sterile interior of the bags contains nutrient medium and germ-free air or a suitable gas, which been added beforehand. Even during the cultivation period the containers do not have to be opened, and at the end the cells can be removed again by injection needle.
The researchers also maybe intend to use the disposable systems for growing artificial organs. If the bags are provided with a three-dimensional structure, cells could attach themselves to it and create artificial skin, nerves, cartilage or bone which could be used prosthetically in the patient. So far their cultivation has mainly failed because the stem cells have been reluctant to attach themselves to spatial structures. The plasma process developed at the IST could solve this problem. In collaboration with the University of Tbingen, Braunschweig City Hospital plans to isolate certain stem cells from tissue samples and investigate on which of the new plastic surfaces they could develop into bone or cartilage, for example. For this development by the group led by Dr. Michael Thomas, the IST was awarded "Selected Location 2011" as part of the "Land of Ideas" initiative. The prize will be awarded at the IST in Braunschweig on December 8, 2011.
|Contact: Dr. Michael Thomas |