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Scientists at the Cincinnati Children’s Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Medicine have created a human esophagus, opening the way for tackling esophagus problems.
The esophagus is the muscular tube that moves the food and liquids we swallow to our stomachs.
The team grew fully formed human esophagi cells in the lab. A paper was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell¹
They believe that this is the first time this has been achieved using only pluripotent stem cells.
This might help treat a range of esophagus problems, such as esophageal cancer and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
It may also help treat more rare diseases, such as esophageal atresia (a condition in which the upper esophagus is separated from the lower esophagus) and esophageal achalasia (where the esophagus has problems contracting).
There is still a long way to go before esophagus problems can be cured “off the shelf”, but this opens up exciting prospects for finding solutions to some serious conditions.