5-Prime | Tissue Engineering Trends
What is tissue engineering? It's the use of engineering and life sciences principles and methods to obtain a basic understanding of structure-function relationships in novel and pathological mammalian tissues and using biological substitutes to restore, maintain, and improve function.
What's new? Researchers have developed products and therapies that include a combination of living cells and biomaterials to repair or replace diseased or damaged tissue. Some are also using stem cells for tissue regeneration. The Food and Drug Administration has approved tissue engineered cartilage and skin products. The next step, developing functioning organs, is in the works. Researchers have successfully implanted tissue-engineered bladders in dogs, for example, and have designed whole human bladders.
What's newer? "Tissue engineering historically grew out of materials science," says Sangeeta Bhatia, University of California, San Diego. Now, materials-based tissue engineering is beginning to merge with developmental biology to find ways of...