Medical application of bioartificial tissues and organs
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The enormous need for 'spare parts' for the human body is the driving force for research in a new scientific field - tissue engineering. Tissue engineering combines living cells with a wide range of biomaterials, mostly as a substitute for the extracellular matrix or the stroma. As experiments in conventional culture dishes continued to fail, new cell and tissue culture methods had to be developed. Tissues are cultured under conditions as close as possible to their natural environment. Cells are grown on novel tissue carriers, on selected biomaterials and scaffolds. The tissues are subsequently transferred into different types of containers for perfusion with fresh culture medium. The development of artificial skin for severely burned patients is among the most advanced tissue-engineering attempts. Intensive research is being focused on the generation of artificial cartilage and bones to treat articular joint diseases or injuries or augment defects in plastic surgery. Future challenges are the construction of liver organoids for bridging comas or bioartificial pancreas for the treatment of type I diabetes mellitus. In this paper we show strategies, needs, tools for the development of some artificial tissues and bioartificial organs.
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M. Kandefer-Szerszen, Zaklad Wirusologii i Immunologii, Uniwersytet M. Curie-Sklodowskiej, ul. Akademicka 19, 20-033 Lublin, Poland