Regenerative medicine can be defines as the process of creating living and functional tissue or organ, that has lost its function due to some damage, or disease, or may be a process known as aging. Regenerative medicine aims to regenerate damaged tissue by stimulating the damaged organ or tissue to heal them, and regenerative medicine also allows scientists or doctors to culture required tissue or organs in the laboratory and then implant into the body of patients. Regenerative medicine allows organ or tissue culture in the laboratory; therefore it solves the organs available for organ transplant procedure. More number of patients will get the life saving organs for transplantation.
Regenerative medicine works by combining the techniques of tissue engineering, tissue science and other biological science that help in restoring the function and structure of damaged tissue or organ. Regenerative uses the techniques or therapies that help the body to autonomously regenerate the damaged body organ or tissue, such as tissue engineered implant that stimulates the body for regeneration of damaged tissue.
Future Applications of Regenerative Medicine:
1. Regenerative medicine can be applied to form new muscle tissue, heart valves, blood vessels, or skin.
2. Regenerative medicine can be applied to form new kidney, bladder or other genitourinary tissue or organs.
3. Regenerative medicine can be applied to form new trachea, breast, liver, bone, cartilage and also to produce new nerve cells or tissues.
Example of Regenerative Medicine Application: Neo-bladder
1. Small, full thickness biopsy of bladder is taken from the patient.
2. Regenerative cells like smooth muscle and urothelial cells are isolated from the biopsy
3. Isolated cells are cultured in the laboratory.
4. The cultured cells are seeded in biodegradable bladder shaped scaffolds.
5. Cells attach and divide and grow into the shape of scaffold in eight weeks time.
6. Neo-bladder cultured in the laboratory is implanted into the patient's body by standard surgical methods.
7. Neo-bladder stimulates the body to regenerate and integrate the new tissue and finally restores the function of the bladder.
8. Biodegradable scaffold is biodegraded and is eliminated from the body, leaving behind patient's own functioning bladder.
Need of Regenerative Medicine:
1. Regenerative medicine is a cure for the condition or disease but not a treatment. Today's treatments are expensive and which are needed throughout the life time of patient to maintain the condition or disease. For example diabetes is maintained by giving insulin to the patients, insulin just maintains the condition but it is not a cure. But by using regenerative medicine insulin producing cells known as islet cells of pancreas can be regenerated in the laboratory and then implanted into the patient's body or can be produced in vivo, this eliminates the lifelong requirement of insulin or other form of treatments.
2. Regenerative medicine can also be used to produce heart muscles after the heart attack, and much more.
Current State of Regenerative Medicine:
1. Researchers were able to grow arteries of the heart and also prepared blood in the laboratory using the regenerative medicine techniques.
2. Bladders, ligaments produced using regenerative medicine are in clinical trial stage.
3. FDA- approved regenerative medicine products are dermal tissue, joint substitute tissue and also bone marrow for orthopaedic use.
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