Transplants Made to Order

The Scientist takes a conservative look at the present grail of tissue engineering: "The possibility that we might engineer replacements for worn out tissues - from the simple slips of cartilage that cushion joints to fully differentiated, functional grafts in a ready-to-use format - is increasingly plausible. ... While visions of a healthy, shrink-wrapped heart ready to drop in the chest cavity of a needy patient are pure fantasy for now, tissue engineering is remarkably close to producing biological grafts that can reestablish normal tissue structure and function across different size scales, on a long term, and with the ability to remodel in response to environmental factors, growth, and aging."



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