Encapsulating modified bacteria in tough hydrogel spheres prevents them from spreading genes to other microbes.
Tissue engineering has long-depended on geometrically static scaffolds seeded with cells in the lab to create new tissues and even organs. The scaffolding material — usually a biodegradable polymer structure — is supplied with cells and the cells, if supplied with the right nutrients, then develop into tissue as the underlying scaffold biodegrades. But this model ignores the extraordinarily dynamic morphological processes that underlie the natural development of tissues.
Bioengineers at EPFL have created miniature intestines in a dish that match up anatomically and functionally to the real thing better than any other lab-grown tissue models. The biological complexity and longevity of the new organoid technology is an important step towards enabling drug testing, personalized medicine, and perhaps, one day, transplantations.
Bioengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a control system that could make CAR T-cell therapy safer and more powerful when treating cancer. By programming CAR T cells to switch on when exposed to blue light, the researchers controlled the cells to destroy skin tumors in mice without harming healthy tissue.