Building gut from scratch - progress and update of intestinal tissue engineering


Short bowel syndrome (SBS), a condition defined by insufficient absorptive intestinal epithelium, is a rare disease, with an estimated prevalence up to 0.4 in 10,000 people. However, it has substantial morbidity and mortality for affected patients. The mainstay of treatment in SBS is supportive, in the form of intravenous parenteral nutrition, with the aim of achieving intestinal autonomy. The lack of a definitive curative therapy has led to attempts to harness innate developmental and regenerative mechanisms to engineer neo-intestine as an alternative approach to addressing this unmet clinical need. Exciting advances have been made in the field of intestinal tissue engineering (ITE) over the past decade, making a review in this field timely. In this Review, we discuss the latest advances in the components required to engineer intestinal grafts and summarize the progress of ITE. We also explore some key factors to consider and challenges to overcome when transitioning tissue-engineered intestine towards clinical translation, and provide the future outlook of ITE in therapeutic applications and beyond.

Journal details

Volume 19
Issue number 7
Pages 417-431
Available online
Publication date