WINSTON-SALEM, NC – March 7, 2011 – Researchers at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues reported today on a new advance in tissue engineering. The team is the first in the world to use patients’ own cells to build tailor-made urinary tubes and successfully replace damaged tissue.
In an article published Online First by The Lancet, the research team reports replacing damaged segments of urinary tubes (urethras) in five boys. Tests to measure urine flow and tube diameter showed that the engineered tissue remained functional throughout the six-year (median) follow-up period.
“These findings suggest that engineered urethras can be used successfully in patients and may be an alternative to the current treatment, which has a high failure rate,” said Anthony Atala, M.D., senior author, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and a pediatric urologic surgeon. “This is an example of how the strategies of tissue engineering can be applied to multiple tissues and organs.”
Humans differ from cars in that cars can have their parts replaced when the parts wear out. When crucial human parts wear out we get sick and eventually die. When scientists succeed to growing replacement parts for all of our bodies (except our brains) then death due to aging will become avoidable as long as brain rejuvenation techniques can be made to work.
Atala's team has previously succeeded in growing replacement bladders that work in humans. Atala's team is also working on development of tissue engineering techniques to repair the bodies of damaged soldiers. More successes from his team and other labs will keep getting reported. Many body parts will be replaceable in 10 years.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2011 March 08 11:29 PM Biotech Tissue Engineering|