The primary role of the epithelial lining of the intestinal tract is the absorption of nutrients and fluids from the food passing through the gut.
The intestinal tract, also known as the digestive tract or the gut, refers to the long muscular tube that extends from the lower end of the stomach to the anus. This tube is lined with epithelial cells. The primary role of the epithelial lining of the intestinal tract is the absorption of nutrients and fluids from the food passing through the gut, ultimately resulting in the formation of a more solid stool.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, affects over 6.8 million people globally. There is currently no medical cure for the two types of IBD, Crohn’s disease and its most common form, ulcerative colitis. Current medical therapies thus have significant room for improvement.
reNEW researchers focus on using adult epithelial stem cell approaches to both the development of drugs and cell therapies aimed at improving the quality of life of the patients affected by IBD. They are currently work on cultivating intestinal epithelial cells into mini-organs, organoids, grafting these to the site where intestinal tissue is injured and studying how the tissue then responds and regenerates.