Scientists develop tear and saliva glands in lab petri dish

Johannesburg, Oct. 2 (ANI): In another boost to the creation of bio-engineered organs, scientists have created saliva glands and tear glands in a lab dish, using stem cells from mice.

Researchers, at the Tokyo University of Science, said that their findings could potentially help in treating the "dry eye" or "dry mouth" syndromes, which are caused by the malfunctioning glands, News 24 reported.

For the study, lead researcher, Takashi Tsuji, along with a team, grew the two glands in the lab dish from precursor cells, and transplanted the primitive organs into mice.

The results showed that both the transplanted glands performed well with the adjacent tissue, connecting up to ducts and nerve fibres.

The tear glands, also called lacrimal glands, secreted teardrops and the saliva glands responded normally to stimulus from food and protected the mouse against oral infection.

The researchers, however, added that several problems must be solved before the use of bio-engineered secretory glands becomes feasible, pointing to the need to set up a bank of suitable stem cells.

The paper was published in the science journal Nature Communications. (ANI)

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