Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials|Regentime|Responsive Medical and Health Template

Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials

Tissue Engineering

Tissue Engineering is the science of growing replacement organs and tissue in the lab to replace damaged or diseased tissue. The process usually starts with a three-dimensional structure called a scaffold that is used to support cells as they grow and develop. Skin, blood vessels, bladders, trachea, esophagus, muscle and other types of tissue have been successfully engineered; and some of these tissues have already been used in treating human disease.
Solid organs -- such as the liver, kidney, heart and pancreas -- are especially challenging and are considered the "Holy Grail" of tissue engineering.
Tissue engineering. evolved from the field of biomaterials development and refers to the practice of combining scaffolds, cells, and biologically active molecules into functional tissues. The goal of tissue engineering. is to assemble functional constructs that restore, maintain, or improve damaged tissues or whole organs. Artificial skin and cartilage are examples of engineered tissues that have been approved by the FDA; however, currently they have limited use in human patients.
Regenerative medicine is a broad field that includes tissue engineering but also incorporates research on self-healing – where the body uses its own systems, sometimes with help foreign biological material to recreate cells and rebuild tissues and organs. The terms Tissue engineering. and "regenerative medicine”“ have become largely interchangeable, as the field hopes to focus on cures instead of treatments for complex, often chronic, diseases.
This field continues to evolve. In addition to medical applications, non-therapeutic applications include using tissues as biosensors to detect biological or chemical threat agents, and tissue chips that can be used to test the toxicity of an experimental medication.

Biomaterials

Cells are the building blocks of tissue, and tissues are the basic unit of function in the body. Generally, groups of cells make and secrete their own support structures, called extra-cellular matrix. This matrix, or scaffold, does more than just support the cells; it also acts as a relay station for various signaling molecules. Thus, cells receive messages from many sources that become available from the local environment. Each signal can start a chain of responses that determine what happens to the cell. By understanding how individual cells respond to signals, interact with their environment, and organize into tissues and organisms, researchers have been able to manipulate these processes to mend damaged tissues or even create new ones.
The process often begins with building a scaffold from a wide set of possible sources, from proteins to plastics. Once scaffolds are created, cells with or without a “cocktail” of growth factors can be introduced. If the environment is right, a tissue develops. In some cases, the cells, scaffolds, and growth factors are all mixed together at once, allowing the tissue to “self-assemble.”
Another method to create new tissue uses an existing scaffold. The cells of a donor organ are stripped and the remaining collagen scaffold is used to grow new tissue. This process has been used to bioengineer heart, liver, lung, and kidney tissue. This approach holds great promise for using scaffolding from human tissue discarded during surgery and combining it with a patient’s own cells to make customized organs that would not be rejected by the immune system.

Why Regenerative Medicine?
  • Faster recovery time.
  • Improve joint, ligaments, and tendon function.
  • No incisions or trauma.
  • Very little pain.
  • No general anesthesia.
  • Renewal and repair within the joint.
  • Very low side effect.
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