Skip to Content

Artificial Thymus

Laboratory production of T cells-immune cells that grow naturally in the thymus gland-could provide new therapies against cancer, autoimmune disorders and organ transplant rejection. But they’re hard to grow in culture dishes; current methods yield too few cells of too little variety. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the Woburn, MA, biotechnology firm Cell Science Therapeutics have developed an artificial thymus that solves both problems. Constructed from a porous metal-and-carbon material typically used for bone repair and arranged in a three-dimensional matrix, the structure mimics the functions of a living-tissue thymus, generating a bumper crop of T cells that can adjust to new threats. Clinical trials start in 2002, with commercial availability expected a few years later. -M. Wortman

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station
Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station

Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything

Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.

individual aging affects covid outcomes concept
individual aging affects covid outcomes concept

Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid

Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.

Europe's AI Act concept
Europe's AI Act concept

A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of

The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.