The loss of organs and tissues due to diseases and injuries motivates the development of therapies. That can regenerate tissues and reduce dependence on transplants. Regenerative medicine is an interdisciplinary field that applies principles of engineering and life sciences to promote regeneration. Has the potential to restore entire diseased and injured tissues and organs. Since the inception of the field several decades ago, various regenerative medicine therapies, including those designed for wound healing and orthopedic applications, have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are now commercially available.
Regenerative Medicine: Today and Tomorrow
These therapies and other regenerative medicine approaches are currently under study in preclinical and clinical. These settings were presented in an article by the NIH. Specifically, developments in the manufacturing of sophisticated grafts and tissue mimics. In addition, technologies for integrating grafts with the host vasculature were discussed.
They addressed the enhancement of the host’s intrinsic regenerative capacity by altering its environment. Either through cell injections or immune modulation, as well as methods to exploit recently developed cell sources. Finally, they proposed directions for current and future regenerative medicine therapies.
Regenerative medicine has the potential to heal or replace damaged tissues and organs due to aging, disease, or trauma, as well as to correct congenital defects. Promising preclinical and clinical data to date support the possibility of treating both chronic diseases and acute injuries. Regenerative medicine addresses diseases occurring in a wide range of organ systems and contexts, including dermal wounds, cardiovascular diseases, traumas, treatments for certain types of cancer, and more. The current organ and tissue transplant therapy for treating organ and tissue failures and losses suffers from a limited supply of donors and often severe immune complications. Utilizing regenerative medicine strategies has the potential to overcome these obstacles.
The field of regenerative medicine encompasses numerous strategies, including the use of materials and cells generated de novo, as well as various combinations thereof, to replace missing tissue effectively both structurally and functionally, or to contribute to tissue healing. The body’s innate healing response can also be harnessed to promote regeneration. Although adult humans possess limited regenerative capacity compared to lower vertebrates.
THERAPIES ON THE MARKET
Since tissue engineering and regenerative medicine emerged as industries about two decades ago, several therapies have received authorization or approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are commercially available (see NIH table).
The delivery of therapeutic cells that directly contribute to the structure and function of new tissues is a major paradigm of regenerative medicine to date. Cells used in these therapies are usually autologous or allogeneic differentiated cells that still maintain proliferative capacity.
THERAPIES IN THE PRECLINICAL AND CLINICAL TESTING STAGES
Currently, researchers are exploring a wide range of strategies in the preclinical and clinical research stages. The following subsections will review these different strategies, which have been divided into three broad categories:
(i) recapitulating the structure of organs and tissues through scaffolding, 3D bioprinting, and self-assembly;
(ii) integrating grafts with the host through vascularization and innervation; and
(iii) altering the host environment to induce therapeutic responses, particularly through cell infusion and immune system modulation.
Finally, we will mention methods to exploit recently identified and developed cell sources for regenerative medicine.
Perhaps much of this data may seem a bit complicated for people who are not in the medical field. Still, this article only aims to ensure that when choosing a stem cell treatment. Individuals understand that it has a scientific foundation and the minimum required medical approvals. Hence, reference was made to the FDA-approved therapy table.
I invite you to read our article on What is Regenerative Medicine?