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The self-assembly approach for organ reconstruction by tissue engineering

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Mary Ann Liebert
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One must not forget that tissue engineering was first introduced as a life saving procedure for burn patients (1). The successful engraftment of autologous epidermal sheets was the first proof of concept of the powerful technology that we know today (2-4). However this very interesting initial approach fell into some disrepute because of perceived drawbacks and limitations (5, 6). The subsequent efforts in the field followed essentially three "schools" of thought. The first approach consists in the seeding of cells into various gels, which are then reorganized, by the incorporated cells (7-14). Alternatively, a second approach is to seed cells into a scaffold where they will thrive and secrete extracellular matrix (15-17). The scaffold materials are bioresorbable over a wide range of time periods depending on their chemical structures (18-25). A third approach is different since it uses the principle of a tissue template that allows, after implantation, the ingress of cells into the appropriately organized scaffold. Thus, these grafts are acellular and must stimulate the regenerative potential of the tissue wherever they are implanted (26-31). Our group has developed a different and original method for the reconstruction of soft tissues. It takes full advantage of the various intrinsic properties of cells when appropriately cultured. This entails particular media composition and appropriate mechanical straining of these threedimensional structures.

E-biomed : The Journal of Regenerative Medicine, Vol. 1 (5), 75–86 (2000)
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