A Look at Tissue Engineering of Noses and Ears

Tissue engineering is steadily advancing into the easier areas of growing replacement parts: "Other groups have tried to tackle nose replacement with implants but we've found they don't last. They migrate, the shape of the nose changes. But our one will hold itself completely, as it's an entire nose shape made out of polymer. ... Inside this nanomaterial are thousands of small holes. Tissue grows into these and becomes part of it. It becomes the same as a nose and will even feel like one. ... When the nose is transferred to the patient, it doesn't go directly onto the face but will be placed inside a balloon inserted beneath the skin on their arm. After four weeks, during which time skin and blood vessels can grow, the nose can be monitored, then it can be transplanted to the face. At the cutting edge of modern medicine, [researchers] are focusing on growing replacement organs and body parts to order using a patient's own cells. There would be no more waiting for donors or complex reconstruction - just a quick swap. And because the organ is made from the patient's own cells, the risk of rejection should, in theory, be eliminated. ... We seed the patient's own cells on to the polymer inside a bioreactor. ... This is a sterile environment mirroring the human body's temperature, blood and oxygen supply. ... As the cells take hold and multiply, so the polymer becomes coated. The same methods could be applied to all parts of the face to reconstruct those of people who have had severe facial traumas."

Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2138956/Organ-donation-Making-thing-past--British-lab-growing-human-spare-parts.html


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