Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tissue engineering experts discuss orthopaedics applications

11.04.2005


A future in which laboratory-grown organs and stimulated growth of muscle, bones and nerves could play a major role in treating medical conditions was revealed at a recent Tissue Engineering Symposium at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

The symposium, sponsored by Wake Forest Baptist and the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, was part of the society’s annual conference. Tissue engineering experts from Wake Forest Baptist, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Texas at Austin, as well as Italy and Japan, discussed their latest work.

Tissue engineering, a term that was coined in 1986, describes the science of replacing, repairing or regenerating organs or tissue. The term is often used interchangeably with regenerative medicine.



In the field of orthopaedics, researchers described using growth factors to regenerate bone, using new technologies to enhance the healing of ligaments, efforts to produce tissue-engineered cartilage, and the possibility of use stem cells derived from muscle to improve bone healing. These advances could provide better treatments for sports injuries, cleft palate and osteoporosis, the researchers said.

"The potential in orthopaedics is not only to manage devastating congenital or traumatic problems but also to prevent or slow degenerative processes in order to maintain the activity and function of our aging population," said Gary G. Poehling, M.D., professor and chairman of othopaedics at Wake Forest Baptist.

Anthony Atala M.D., director of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, said that laboratory-grown organs may one day help alleviate the shortage of donated organs for transplantation. Atala has developed bioengineered urethras, the tube through which urine is excreted from the bladder, that have been successfully implanted in humans. He has also created blood vessels, muscle, bladders, wombs, and vaginas that have been successfully tested in large animals and are close to being ready to test in humans.

Atala’s team is working to use patients’ own cells to grow more than 20 different tissue types. They harvest cells from humans and apply growth factors, to cause the cells to multiply outside the body. It can take years to develop and perfect these growth factors, which cause a group of cells about one centimeter in size to multiply to fill a football field in about 60 days. The cells are "seeded" on a model, or scaffold, where they continue to grow. The next step is implanting the model in the body, where the scaffold eventually degrades as the new organ or tissue integrates with the body.

In addition to engineering tissues and organs, Atala and his team are also working to identify new sources of stem cells. Because these cells are unspecialized, they can acquire the structure and features of other cell types, and some researchers believe they could be used to replace defective insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, as well as to treat Alzheimer’s, liver, heart, muscular and vascular diseases.

Robert Nerem, Ph.D., director of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at the Georgia Institute of Technology predicted that one day tissue engineering and regenerative medicine will result in a revolution in the medical implant industry.

But Nerem and others who work in this emerging field said that while the area is full of promise, there are still many challenges to face before new therapies will be widely available.

"These technologies are expensive and for some of them, distribution is a challenge," said Atala.

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>