Regenerative medicine: Basic concepts, current status, and future applications

Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 27157, USA.
Journal of Investigative Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.5). 10/2010; 58(7):849-58.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A recent report demonstrated that a laboratory-grown neobladder tissue could be successfully used for cystoplasty in young patients with myelomeningocele who were otherwise healthy. This remarkable achievement portends well for the application of tissue engineering/regenerative medicine technologies to the treatment of end-organ failure due to a variety of causes (ie, congenital, acquired, age or disease related). Nonetheless, the broader clinical use of these groundbreaking technologies awaits improved understanding of endogenous regenerative mechanisms, more detailed knowledge of the boundary conditions that define the current limits for tissue repair and replacement in vivo, and the parallel development of critical enabling technologies (ie, improved cell source, biomaterials, bioreactors). This brief report will review a number of the most salient features and recent developments in this rapidly advancing area of medical research and detail some of our own experience with bladder and skeletal muscle regeneration and replacement as examples that highlight both the promise and challenges facing regenerative medicine/tissue engineering.

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