Designing animal-free organoids based on engineered vegetables and protein crystals [VegFold]

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: College of Medical, Veterinary &Life Sci


Studentship strategic priority area: Clinical Technologies
Keywords: Plant scaffolds, mesenchymal stem cells, decellulariztion, cell differentiation, growth factors

The project aims at developing the next generation of animal-free scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine based on material of vegetal origin. We address a strategy where plant leaves are decellularized and used as a scaffold to seed human stem cells in. The natural vasculature of the leaf closely resembles the human one, and it offers an intriguing platform to grow perfusable human organoids or microtissues on. Nevertheless, the cellulose wall is inherently poorly cytogenic and this limits the potential of this "vegetal way". We propose to explore an innovative strategy to increase the efficiency of vegetable scaffolds (VegFolds) by engineering the plants to produce the required molecular moieties for the stem cells to adhere to the cellulose scaffold and start proliferating. Moreover, we plan to integrate PODS, a patented technology from the industrial partner Cell Guidance Systems, to support the osteogenic differentiation potential of the scaffold on a longer term.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S02347X/1 30/06/2019 31/12/2027
2765722 Studentship EP/S02347X/1 02/10/2022 01/10/2026 Xally Montserrat Valencia Guerrero