Korean researchers develop attachable cells that promote bodily repair

June 9, 2015
Shin Kwan-woo Sogang University professor

Shin Kwan-woo
Sogang University professor

By Yoon Sung-won

A team of Korean researchers have developed technology to produce “sticker” cells that can be attached to the human body and cure damaged skin and organs, the science ministry said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said the research team at Sogang University has cooperated with a bio-disease laboratory at Harvard University to develop the “sticker cell,” which can be easily applied to damaged human skin and organs.

The technology is also expected to facilitate follow-up research on safe human organ and nerve treatments that do not cause rejections or side effects, the ministry said.

“We have achieved good results through long-term research since 2011. We will continue our research on the practical application of the sticker cells for skin regeneration from this month,” said Shin Kwan-woo, professor at Sogang University who led the research team.

Shin said there have been several research projects underway on the medical treatment on damaged organs and nerves by nurturing tissue cells. But most of them have used prosthesis made of metal or plastic materials, which can be rejected by the body. It is also impossible to naturally connect these artificial materials to other cells in human body tissue, the professor said.

The research team has artificially built a protein network and incubated cells, extracted from an experimental rat’s organ. As a result, the researchers could confirm that the cells were growing with normal organic functions.

The professor said the sticker cells are expected to smoothly join with existing cells because they will be made from the recipients own cells. This means that they can enhance the success rate of treatment on human organs and nerve cells.

The achievement has been published at the front cover of the international academic journal Advanced Materials on May 13, the ministry said.

The science ministry also said the successful development of the new medical science technology will accelerate the progress of its other research and development projects in the bio and healthcare sector.