Tissue engineers are working on a variety of proj-ects. Here are just a few candidates for future human replacement parts.

Skin: Chemical engineers agree that skin will be the first engineered tissue commercially available as a medical device to treat the large market of severe burn patients and those suffering from diabetic ulcers and other nonhealing wounds. La Jolla, Calif.-based Advanced Tissue Sciences Inc. and Organogenesis in Canton, Mass., have engineered skin substitutes currently in clinical trials. A key part of each product's recipe is to remove cells and molecules that could evoke an immune response.

Advanced Tissue Sciences' Dermagraft is a layer of dermis - the inner skin layer - made from foreskins donated from circumcised newborns. The fibroblast cells are cultured on biodegradable synthetic fibers to form the skin layer. A synthetic epidermis can top the engineered layer. Organogenesis' Graftskin is two layers: keratinocytes (epithelium) forming the epidermis,...

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