'Tissue Paper' Made from Organs to Aid Wound Healing

Northwestern University engineers have created 'tissue papers' made from blended animal organs that are thin and flexible enough to be folded into origami structures. These biomaterials could potentially be used to support natural hormone production in young cancer patients and aid wound healing. Individual types of tissue papers were made from ovarian, uterine, kidney, liver, muscle, or heart proteins obtained by processing pig and cow organs. Each tissue paper had specific cellular properties of the organ from which it was made. For wound healing, the researchers believe the tissue paper could provide support and the cell signaling needed to help regenerate tissue to prevent scarring and accelerate healing. As for hormone production, the tissue paper made from a bovine ovary was used to grow ovarian follicles when they were cultured in vitro. The follicles (eggs and hormone-producing cells) grown on the tissue paper produced hormones necessary for proper function and maturation.