Tissue Engineering

Exciting uses include engineering of replacement organs, and tissue repair and replacement for problems like degeneration and wound repair.

Artificial human tissues could replace animals in drug tests, and tissue engineering can be used in personalized medicine.

From NIH Science Education
-        Evolved from the field of biomaterials development
-        The practice of combining scaffolds, cells, and biologically active molecules into
functional tissues.
-        Goal is to assemble functional constructs that restore, maintain, or improve
damaged tissues or whole organs.
-        Regenerative medicine is a broad field that includes tissue engineering.
-        In the following article see How do tissue engineering and
regenerative medicine work?
section for details about

  • the extra-cellular matrix (scaffold)
  • and how it acts as a signal relay station to determine what happens,
  • creating new tissue from an existing scaffold.

-        See How do tissue engineering and regenerative medicine fit in with
current medical practices?
For info about

  • supplemental bladders, small arteries, skin grafts, cartilage, and even a full trachea have been implanted in patients
  • more complex organ tissues like heart, lung, and liver tissue
  • could speed up development and provide key tools for facilitating personalized medicine while saving money and reducing the number of animals used for research.

-        What are NIH-funded researchers developing in the areas of tissue
engineering and regenerative medicine?

  • controlling stem cells through their environment
  • implanting human livers in mice
  • engineering mature bone stem cells
  • using lattices to help engineered tissue survive
  • new hope for the bum knee
  • regenerating a new kidney


Definitions from Wikipedia
-        An interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of engineering and life sciences
toward the development of  biological substitutes that restore, maintain,
or improve tissue function or a whole organ.
-        Also defined as “understanding the principles of tissue growth, and applying this
to produce functional replacement tissue for clinical use.”
-        A further description goes on to say that an “underlying supposition of tissue
engineering is that the employment of natural biology of the system will allow
for greater success in developing therapeutic strategies aimed at the replacement,
repair, maintenance, and/or enhancement of tissue function.”

Nature Biotechnology
-        tissue and organ failure is addressed by implanting natural, synthetic, or
semisynthetic tissue and organ mimics that are fully functional from the start,
or that grow into the required functionality.
-        A variety of approaches are used to coax differentiated or undifferentiated cells,
such as stem cells, into the desired cell type.
-        Notable results include tissue-engineered bone, blood vessels, liver, muscle, and
even nerve conduits.
-        Article offers history
-        And come companies involved in tissue engineering.
-        Industry challenges
-        The future
-        Conclusions

Stay tuned for how the foundation will address this opportunity to slow and ultimately reverse aging and increase healthy years of life.

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