The Promise of Regenerative Medicine
Why is regenerative medicine so exciting? Today's successes and the promise of tomorrow...
Regenerative medicine is a field that has developed in part as a response to overcome the shortage of donor organs suitable for transplantation. Today, this novel technology is being applied to develop tissues and organs that can be supplied "on demand" for many therapeutic applications.
For thousands of years, humans have been trying to manipulate or enhance their own biology to improve health. Over the last two decades, significant breakthroughs within the fields of cell biology, biophysics and biochemistry have yielded a more intimate understanding of the functioning of human tissue.
With greater insight into the structural and behavioral characteristics of living tissues, researchers are designing and creating new living tissues and organs to replace those that are diseased.
Regeneration is already changing medicine. In addition to bio-engineered skin used to heal chronic wounds and burns, many exciting breakthroughs have already been realized. Regenerative medicine allows us to repair bone and cartilage, close heart defects and rejuvenate aging skin.
In the future, regenerative medicine technologies may deliver neural regeneration, islet cells for diabetes, and more substantial heart repair. As biology, engineering and immunology expertise grows, the field may succeed in building three dimensional organs like bladders, livers, hearts, and kidneys.
The goal is that one day damaged tissues and organs resulting from disease, injury, or even the normal aging process, can be revitalized with regenerative medicine.
Regenerative medicine has come of age....
Several factors are now contributing to an invigoration of the field of regenerative medicine:
- Organogenesis' successful commercialization of regenerative medicine products
- The significant impact products such as Apligraf® and Dermagraft® have had on the improvement of patient wellbeing and care
- The growing number of regenerative medicine companies
- The creation of Regenerative Medicine Institutes in the world's leading academic centers
- Regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and reimbursement agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now have clarity on how to regulate and assess these exciting new technologies.