Regenerative medicine is a branch of translational research in tissue engineering and molecular biology which deals with the “process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function”. This field holds the promise of engineering damaged tissues and organs by stimulating the body’s own repair mechanisms to functionally heal previously irreparable tissues or organs.
Regenerative medicine is an exciting field and since the inception of the field several decades ago, a number of regenerative medicine therapies, including those designed for wound healing and orthopedics applications, have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and are now commercially available. These therapies and other regenerative medicine approaches are currently being studied in preclinical and clinical settings and some of them have even moved to Phase III trials. Specifically, developments in fabricating sophisticated grafts and tissue mimics and technologies for integrating grafts with host vasculature are also underway.
To date, Regenerative Medicine has led to new FDA-approved therapies being used to treat a number of pathologies. Considerable research has enabled the fabrication of sophisticated grafts that exploit properties of scaffolding materials and cell manipulation technologies for controlling cell behavior and repairing tissue. These scaffolds can be molded to fit the patient’s anatomy and be fabricated with substantial control over spatial positioning of cells. Strategies are being developed to improve graft integration with the host vasculature and nervous system, particularly through controlled release of growth factors and vascular cell seeding, and the body’s healing response can be elicited and augmented in a variety of ways, including immune system modulation. New cell sources for transplantation that address the limited cell supply that hampered many past efforts are also being developed.
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*Source: Cesca Therapeutics, USA in collaboration with FMRI, NCR India.
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