Working to Build Replacement Tissue

A look at what's going on the tissue engineering labs these days from ScienceDaily: "Cartilage, bones and the internal walls of blood vessels can be created by using common connective tissue cells from human skin. Researchers [have] successfully manipulated these tissue cells to take on different shapes depending on the medium they have been cultivated in. ... This means that it will be much easier to produce autologous tissue, which is tissue created from the patient's own body ... Different strategies have been attempted to instead grow autologous tissue from stem cells, for example those present in bone marrow. These cells, however, can be difficult to harvest, cultivate and store. Compared to these cells connective tissue cells from human skin has great advantages. A small biopsy is often enough to collect a sufficient amount of cells. ... They are the 'weed' cells of the body, very easy to collect and cultivate into the cell type required. They are also very suitable to use to create a personal cell bank. ... The dream is to be able to manipulate connective tissue cells in the human body to develop into specific cell types, for example to create bone cells for broken bones."


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