Advances in Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering: Innovation and Transformation of MedicineAuthor(s): Tayeb Salih
Humans and animals lose tissues and organs due to congenital defects, trauma, and diseases. The human body has a low regenerative potential as opposed to the urodele amphibians commonly referred to as salamanders. Globally, millions of people would benefit immensely if tissues and organs can be replaced on demand. Traditionally, transplantation of intact tissues and organs has been the bedrock to replace damaged and diseased parts of the body. The sole reliance on transplantation has created a waiting list of people requiring donated tissues and organs, and generally, supply cannot meet the demand. The total cost to society in terms of caring for patients with failing organs and debilitating diseases is enormous. Scientists and clinicians, motivated by the need to develop safe and reliable sources of tissues and organs, have been improving therapies and technologies that can regenerate tissues and in some cases create new tissues altogether. Tissue engineering and/or regenerative medicine are fields of life science employing both engineering and biological principles to create new tissues and organs and to promote the regeneration of damaged or diseased tissues and organs. Major advances and innovations are being made in the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and have a huge impact on three-dimensional bioprinting (3D bioprinting) of tissues and organs. 3D bioprinting holds great promise for artificial tissue and organ bioprinting, thereby revolutionizing the field of regenerative medicine. This review discusses how recent advances in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering can improve 3D bioprinting and vice versa. Several challenges must be overcome in the application of 3D bioprinting before this disruptive technology is widely used to create organotypic constructs for regenerative medicine.