Tissue Engineering

Authors: Auger, François A.Germain, Lucie
Abstract: There is little doubt that tissue engineering is a revolutionary addition to the therapeutic armamentarium of medicine. The dilemma of adequately repairing either failing or traumatized organs has been looming larger as patients either become older or are in dire need of grafts. Compounding some of the intrinsic problems of transplantation is the chronic shortage of tissues and organs. Tissue engineering allows the hope of a regular creation of spare parts for the human body. This is a most significant approach to reconstruct, replace, or repair organs in a way that could not be foreseen 25 years ago. Reconstructive medicine is, in a way, not a very recent concept. If one stays away from punctilious definitions, one of its forms, reconstructive surgery, has been practiced for quite some time, with a surge of development after the Second World War. In 1970s, the development of microsurgery allowed distant tissue transfer and reimplantation.[1-5] Since then, the introduction of various biomaterials has allowed vast and diversified types of reconstruction of the human body. Vascular grafts and prosthetic articulation are two prominent examples.[6] However, tissue engineering does open a radically new chapter in reconstructive medicine, for it is now deemed possible to reconstruct in the laboratory human living tissues and organs for either in-vivo, ex-vivo, and even invitro applications.[7-3] This new domain of biotechnology is remarkably multidisciplinary, bringing together cell and molecular biologists, biochemists, engineers, pharmacologists, physicians, and others. When the aim of tissue engineers is to obtain grafts for in-vivo applications, then the biological and mechanical functions are of utmost importance. In some subdivisions of the field, one can essentially choose between a biological function, as in cell therapy, and a principally mechanical function, as in the use of tissue templates[14] (Fig. 1). Tissue-engineered substitutes are three-dimensional reconstructions that can be implanted into the human body, leading to rapid host integration and acceptance. These substitutes must have at least minimal biological and mechanical functions for such a reparative role.
Document Type: Chapitre d'ouvrage
Issue Date: 1 January 2004
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: AM
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/16767
This document was published in: Encyclopedia of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering
Marcel Dekker
Collection:Chapitres de livre

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