Granada, December 23 (EFE) .- The Cell Production and Tissue Engineering Unit of the Virgen de las Nieves Hospital in Granada was born a decade ago to promote advanced stem cell therapies, tests that allowed a pioneering transplant of the skull artificial or the first. for a large burn with fabricated skin.
Ten years and a networked multidisciplinary team to other organizations have transformed this unit, the largest in Andalusia with authorization to produce drugs for Advanced Therapies, in the factory from which solutions tailored to medical needs.
The director of the unit, Salvador Arias, told Efe that this laboratory was almost hermetic and subjected to a high level of safety and sterility born a decade ago as a result of the strategy of promoting advanced stem cell therapies.
The work began with the creation of facilities, the largest white room in Andalusia – also known by its acronym in English GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) -, of which a team of doctors, pharmacists, technicians or biochemists draw crnea, model skin and create cells to fight diseases.
The first milestone of the work team, which this year received the Andalusian Medal granted by the Council, has allowed since 2010 to combat rejections in transplants thanks to the mesenchymal stem cells of adipose tissue.
"They are immunoregulators, so they serve as therapy to prevent graft rejection against the host, but they are also now being used in certain immune diseases and in response to AIDS cases," he said.
Since the first use of these adipose tissue cells, the laboratory has received almost one hundred donations from living people that allowed the creation of 265 individual doses that are used to prevent or minimize the risk of rejection of a transplant.
The Cell Production Unit was the first Andalusian to receive authorization to produce advanced therapy medicines and the blend of safety and innovation allowed it to sign pioneering treatments.
"In 2014, and with a clinical trial that now has a second phase, it was possible to implant for the first time in Spain an artificial skull made here and that was the solution for a patient with a serious eye disease," recalled Arias.
This cornea was the result of a study designed in conjunction with the University of Granada and was carried out with two different types of human cells and a biomaterial based on nanotechnology, a formula that has since been used in a dozen other patients.
Two years later, the same team became a pioneer in the implantation of artificial skin in a young woman with 70% of the body burned, fabric made with its own cells thanks to a patent that combines tissue engineering and nanostructures to give more elasticity and allow treatment.
"Now we are doing the skin for a month, we need enough cells and a period of three to four weeks to generate the leaves," said Arias, who explained that the skin grows with agarose, fibrin and a kind of scaffold. which allow you to manipulate the skin and prevent pain from transplanting other areas of the patient's body.
Since 2016, the date of this first artificial skin transplant, the team made about 570 sheets to treat thirteen patients, who now have about eight square meters of skin that, being made with their own cells, prevents rejection, reduces the possibility increase the level of recovery.
The Unit collaborates with the Department of Histology at the University of Granada and other hospital services, which increase the need to manufacture solutions, and now seeks to create skin for reconstructive surgery of basal cell cancer.