Regenerative Medicine

What is Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine is the branch of medicine that develops methods to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues. Regenerative medicine includes the generation and use of therapeutic stem cells, tissue engineering and the production of artificial organs.

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What Is Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine seeks to replace tissue or organs that have been damaged by disease, trauma, or congenital issues, vs. the current clinical strategy that focuses primarily on treating the symptoms. The tools used to realize these outcomes are tissue engineering, cellular therapies, and medical devices and artificial organs.

Combinations of these approaches can amplify our natural healing process in the places it is needed most, or take over the function of a permanently damaged organ. Regenerative medicine is a relatively new field that brings together experts in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, genetics, medicine, robotics, and other fields to find solutions to some of the most challenging medical problems faced by humankind.

When injured or invaded by disease, our bodies have the innate response to heal and defend. What if it was possible to harness the power of the body to heal and then accelerate it in a clinically relevant way? What if we could help the body heal better?

The promising field of Regenerative Medicine is working to restore structure and function of damaged tissues and organs. It is also working to create solutions for organs that become permanently damaged. The goal of this approach is to find a way to cure previously untreatable injuries and diseases.

The Concentrations in The Field of Regenerative Medicine Are:

Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials

Tissue engineering is a strategy where biologically compatible scaffolds are implanted in the body at the site where new tissue is to be formed. If the scaffold is in the geometric shape of the tissue that needs to be generated, and the scaffold attracts cells the outcome is new tissue in the shape desired. If the newly forming tissue is subjected to exercise as it forms, the outcome can be new functional engineered issue.

Millions of patients have been treated with some form of tissue engineered devices, yet the field is in its infancy. The primary success stories have been with soft tissue regeneration. To learn more about some of the promising studies and clinical trials involving tissue engineering, click here.

Cellular Therapies

Many millions of adult stem cells are found in every human. Our body uses stem cells as one way of repairing itself. Studies have illustrated that if adult stem cells are harvested and then injected at the site of diseased or damaged tissue, reconstruction of the tissue is feasible under the right circumstances. These cells can be collected from blood, fat, bone marrow, dental pulp, skeletal muscle and other sources. Cord blood provides yet another source of adult stem cells. Scientists and clinicians are developing and refining their ability to prepare harvested stem cells to be injected into patients to repair diseased or damaged tissue.

To learn more about some of the promising studies and clinical trials involving cellular therapies, click here.

Medical Devices and Artificial Organs

In cases where an organ fails, the predominant clinical strategy is to transplant a replacement organ from a donor. The principal challenges are the availability of donor organs, and the requirement that the donor take immunosuppression drugs—which have side effects. Further, there are many instances where the time to find a suitable donor organ requires an interim strategy to support or supplement the function of the failing organ until a transplantable organ is found. Using circulatory support as an example, there are technologies in various stages of maturity, initially using ventricular assist devices (VADs) as a bridge to a heart transplant, and now there are VADs that are used for long-term circulatory support (destination therapy).

Read more about : Kidney transplant in Iran

Scientists and clinicians around the world are developing and evaluating devices to supplement or to replace the function of many organ systems including the heart, lung, liver and kidney.

The future of Cosmetic Surgery

Some things in the future of plastic surgery are relatively easy to predict such as an increase in popularity of aesthetic surgery and, which procedures will set the pace. When we look at new technologies and advancements it’s more difficult to forecast what will become mainstream in the future. What is certain though, is that plastic surgery will continue to develop and be shaped as new advancements and innovations are introduced and accepted.

Continuous Growth

Cosmetic surgery trends indicate that the demand for plastic surgery will continue to grow as it becomes more advanced, less invasive and more affordable. New technologies and innovative techniques will be pioneered to improve the quality of procedures even further.

In today’s world, many people want to look and feel their best. Plastic surgery can help achieve this and delay the ageing process. In the future this desire to look young and attractive may become even more commonplace as people work and live longer.

There are some plastic surgeries that can be predicted to continue in their popularity. For example, the number of liposuction procedures being performed is growing in the UK and US. As obesity and overweight levels are increasing in these populations it’s reasonable to predict that liposuction will remain a top plastic surgery procedure for the foreseeable future. Now and in the future, it’s thought that the trend is for natural and incremental plastic surgery changes.

Non-surgical treatments have also become more popular over recent years and it’s expected for this to carry on. Patients will continue to combine these procedures and seek completely non-invasive options to manage their facial ageing and to provide them with the body features they desire. 

Stem Cells

Stem cell technology is an exciting concept for plastic surgeons. Stem cells can be harvested to regenerate cells and tissues in the human body. In the future stem cell technologies may be combined with tissue engineering to grow new body parts as required. These structures such as skin and ears will be grown in the laboratory and implanted to restore form and function.

Stem cells could also potentially be re-injected into areas as a filler that is more compatible and longer lasting than current fillers.

Areas where research is currently being undertaken include:

. burn care – generation of the dermal (innermost skin) layer following burn injury.

. breast reconstruction – regeneration of new tissue layers over implants in breast cancer survivors.

. nerve regeneration - regeneration of nerves and restoration of optimal function after nerve injury.

. wound care – use of skin substitutes (composed of living cells grown in a laboratory) to heal wounds.

. scar treatment to improve the healing of scars.

. hand and face transplantation.

Fat Grafting Will Gain in Popularity

A patient’s extra fat tissue can be transferred and regenerated in other parts of their body. This revolutionary technique has been used in plastic surgery on the breasts, buttocks, face and hands. However, this is currently only an option for patients who have sufficient fat on other areas of the body.

Stem cells can become any type of tissue such as fat and it may become possible to grow significant amounts of the patient’s own fat in the laboratory that can then be transferred to their breasts, buttocks, or other areas. One day this could make implants a thing of the past.

Medical Breakthroughs May Slow Down or Stop the Aging Process

Treatments may be developed to modify: programmed cell death, the breakdown of collagen and other skin and soft-tissue changes that cause people to develop an aged appearance.

Fat Reduction

There are already some radical new techniques for fat reduction that don’t require incisions. Current procedures and those in the pipeline include fat-freezing and fat-burning that will destroy fat cells and allow problem areas to be specifically targeted.

Bespoke Treatments

In the last decade, the number of procedure types has increased. It’s expected that plastic surgery options will continue to expand allowing for more bespoke treatments.

There is increased knowledge about how individuals react differently to certain treatments or products. In the future, individual cosmetic treatments may be tailored by specific patient profiles to achieve the best possible results and it may be possible to determine if a patient will scar more than another patient.

The future of plastic surgery is certainly a fascinating and exciting area.


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