Tissue Engineering For The TMJ

(From EurekAlert). Scientists are making progress in growing simple tissue and small replacement parts for the body. "A central feature of the [temporomandibular joint, or TMJ] is a thin sheet of cartilage about the size of a postage stamp that sits between the mandible and the skull. Called the TMJ disc, this sliver of cartilage cannot heal itself if it is injured or damaged. Approximately 70 percent of all TMJ disorders result from TMJ disc displacement, and there are no synthetic materials that can replace a damaged or injured TMJ disc. Rice's new TMJ tissue engineering program aims to develop methods for growing replacement TMJ discs that can be implanted without risk of rejection because they will be grown from a patient's own cells." This is a good step towards much more complex tissue engineering.

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-12/ru-rce120904.php

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