Regenerative medicine aims to repair or replace tissue that has been compromised by injury, disease, or congenital issues. Current approaches in medicine, on the other hand, seek to treat specific symptoms of conditions. There are currently a number of regenerative therapies being researched and implemented across various fields of medicine.
Regenerative medicine therapies can help patients in a number of ways. For one, they may strengthen the body’s natural healing process. Or, they could take over the responsibilities of an organ that has become damaged. Although regenerative medicine is still fairly new, experts have already begun leveraging advancements in biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine, genetics, computer science, and other disciplines to solve some of our biggest medical challenges.
With the goal of not simply treating symptoms but restoring tissue and its functions, regenerative medicine is indeed a promising field that will likely play an integral role in the future of medicine. Here are the core strategies experts are focusing on now.
Tissue engineering is the process of creating scaffolds and transplanting them into the body to encourage new tissue growth. If the scaffold is created in the same shape that the tissue needs, it will attract cells to generate new tissue formation. Through targeted exercises, the engineered tissue can become functional. While millions of patients have already been successfully treated by this innovative technique, studies are underway to help researchers further understand the potential of the treatment as well as the best protocols.
Stem cells are the body’s natural repair kit. They are the foundation from which nearly all specialized cells, such as brain and muscle cells, are created. Stem cells can be harvested from donor sources (such as donated umbilical cord tissue) or the patient themselves through adipose (fat) or bone marrow tissues. When injected at the site of damaged or diseased tissue, they can repair and replace damaged cells to promote healing.
Artificial Organs & Other Medical Devices
When organs fail, the common approach is to transplant a replacement organ through a donor. There are several barriers to this approach, however. One challenge is the lack of availability of donor organs, while another is the need for the recipient to take immunosuppression drugs, which can have serious side effects. A number of regenerative medicine strategies have been introduced as alternatives, such as ventricular assist devices (VADs) to support long-term circulatory support instead of a heart transplant. Researchers are also exploring devices to support or replace the function of other organs, including the liver, kidneys, and lungs.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine, also known as Stem Cell Therapy in Tampa. Regenerative medicine seeks to replace tissue or organs that have been damaged by disease, trauma, or congenital issues.