Explosive growth in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine has led to innovative and promising applications and techniques, many of which are now being tested in human clinical trials.
Hot topics, research advances, and transformative publications that are driving the field forward are highlighted in a comprehensive overview of the field presented in Tissue Engineering, Part B, Reviews, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers (http://www.liebertpub.com). The article is available on the Tissue Engineering website (http://www.liebertpub.com/ten).
Matthew Fisher, PhD and Robert Mauck, PhD, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, identify four key areas in which the field is progressing. The first main theme, in the area of tissue engineering, focuses on advances in grafts and materials, including human or animal tissue from which the cells are removed and the remaining scaffold is used to regenerate new tissues, as well as scaffolds made of new types of biomaterials. Second, in the field of regenerative medicine, the authors highlight the role of novel scaffolds and various growth and control factors in promoting tissue formation and, for example, bone healing.
In the article "Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine: Recent Innovations and the Transition to Translation," (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/ten.teb.2012.0723) the authors identify two additional areas that signal progress in the field: the increasing number of applications advancing into clinical trials; and the growing use of novel types of cells, such as induced pluripotent stem cells.
"Considering the rapid pace of growth and development in regenerative medicine, it is imperative that we fully consider recent advances," says Reviews Co-Editor-in-Chief John P. Fisher, PhD, Professor and Associate Chair, Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. "Dr. Matthew Fisher and Dr. Robert Mauck have wonderfully reviewed the efforts in the tissue engineering field over the past few years, highlighting advances in biomaterials, cell-based constructs, and translational endeavors."