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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regenerative biology and engineering: strategies for tissue restoration.

Over the past 50 years, we have made remarkable advances in the use of bionic devices and solid organ transplants as replacement parts for failing tissues and organs. These approaches to tissue restoration, however, have a number of drawbacks. Thus, a new approach, regenerative biology and engineering, has been developed, consisting of the strategies of cell transplantation, bioartificial tissue constructs, and stimulation of regeneration in vivo. Cell transplants have been successfully used to restore articular cartilage and to treat Parkinson's disease in humans. In rats, transplanted fetal and embryonic stem cell line-derived cardiomyocytes have been shown to differentiate and integrate well with the ventricular myocardium, suggesting the feasibility of using such transplants to restore damaged cardiac muscle. Diabetic symptoms in humans have been alleviated by implanting a bioartificial pancreas consisting of islet cells microencapsulated in alginate. Hydroxyapatite matrixes can stimulate the regeneration of bone across large gaps. Collagenous artificial matrixes can stimulate the regeneration of dermis, and peripheral nerve grafts embedded in a fibrin clot containing fibroblast growth factor-1 stimulate some regeneration of spinal cord axons in adult rats. Future research in regenerative biology will focus on several issues: (1) providing adequate sources of cells for transplantation and bioartificial tissue construction and determining ways to prevent these cells from coming under attack by the immune system, (2) developing new and better materials to build better bionic devices and bioartificial constructs and to stimulate regeneration in vivo, (3) determining how many tissues of the body might contain reserve cells for regeneration in vivo, (4) analyzing the molecular differences between cells and environments of regenerating versus nonregenerating tissues, and (5) understanding the factors and mechanisms involved in the proliferation and patterning of regenerating tissues.[1]


  1. Regenerative biology and engineering: strategies for tissue restoration. Stocum, D.L. Wound repair and regeneration : official publication of the Wound Healing Society [and] the European Tissue Repair Society. (1998) [Pubmed]
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