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Stem Cells & Regenerative Healthcare

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Regenerative Healthcare encompasses many fields of both natural science and medicine. Regenerative Medicine as an umbrella term, covers many fields of research and clinical practice. Stem cell research and therapies continue to enhance the field of Regenerative healthcare for patients and scientists.

Talks about Regenerative medicine Regenerative medicine takes advantage of the body’s ability to regenerate itself or replaces diseased tissue with healthy tissue produced artificially, on principle: heal instead of repair.

Following an illness or accident, it is common to need new tissue or a whole organ to replace the damaged one. The purpose of regenerative medicine is to de novo make cells rendered non-functional and to cultivate healthy tissue. In the distant future, it should even be possible to grow whole organs. The hope is to cure illnesses such as Parkinson’s, leukemia, heart attacks, and some soft tissue injuries. Unlike traditional surgeries for repairing damaged tissue, regenerative medicine aims to produce and use new tissue. It is a revolutionary approach to biomedicine. Regenerative medicine is playing an increasingly important role in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The development of artificial skin cells makes it possible, for example, to test new molecules and thus reduce the number of animal experiments required.

Regenerative medicine is a multidisciplinary ​​research area where biologists, materials scientists, bioinformaticians, and engineers work together. There are four different technologies in the field: natural regeneration in our body, cell therapy, tissue engineering (see bottom of page), and gene therapy. The model organisms used for research based on regenerative capacity are, for example, the axolotl (a kind of salamander) or the zebrafish. These are two master organisms in the art of regeneration. They can grow parts of their brains or even whole members de novo. The knowledge emerging from such research is partly applicable in humans.

Tissue Engineering

In the 80s, tissue engineering underwent a boom. For the first time, it was possible to artificially produce human tissue, more precisely, artificial skin. Nowadays, this artificial skin is created from hair or small pieces of skin and is used, for example, for the treatment of burn victims.

Unlike differentiated skin cells, adult hair stem cells divide much more quickly and can, therefore, implant more quickly. For burn victims, this is a decisive advantage. Since 2012, there has been an automated production facility for the epidermis’ 3D culture. Artificial skin, however, cannot replace a large part of the burned body since components such as the sweat glands and nerve endings are missing.

Resources

https://www.ncl.ac.uk/medical-sciences/research/research-themes/regenerative-medicine/

https://www.stemcells.cam.ac.uk/

https://stemcellthailand.org/about-stem-cell-therapy/

https://hsci.harvard.edu/

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