More Electrical Tissue Engineering

If you found recent news on electrically engineered bone marrow interesting, then this piece from UPI is also good news: "damage to epithelial tissue such as skin results in strong, directional ion flow and generates an internal electrical field. Such fields are thought to guide moving cells by a process known as electrotaxis, in order to heal the wound. ... wounds may close faster or be driven open, depending on the direction of externally applied electrical signals similar in strength to those occurring naturally. The researchers also identified the genes that control electrotaxis as PI(3)Kgamma and PTEN, and propose electrical signals may be used in the future to direct cell growth during wound healing in cell and tissue engineering." Present day technology for manipulating electric fields on small scales is advanced, low-cost and reliable. This bodes well for the future of of this sort of research in tissue engineering - experimentation will be cheap, so progress will be rapid.



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