February 12, 2009

Cotton Candy Used to Grow Tissue

It is found that the sweet treat cotton candy can be used to help scientists grow replacement tissues for people who need it. It can also be used in creating networks of blood vessels in laboratory-grown bone, skin, muscles, or fat for breast reconstruction.

The process would work by first putting a thick liquid chemical over a wad of cotton candy. The liquid would then solidify into a chunk. The chunk would be placed into warm water to dissolve the candy. Tiny channels will then be left where the strands of candy used to be. These channels would be lined with cells to make artificial blood vessels. The solid chunk would be seeded with immature cells of whatever tissue that is meant to be made. The block would be biodegradable and would eventually be replaced by growing tissue as it disappears. In the end you would get a piece of tissue permeated with tiny blood vessels.

Researchers are testing this method and have used rat blood to run through the channels to test it. Eventually, they plan to use something other than cotton candy as the research progresses.

No comments: