Growing Body Parts
The science of Regenerative Medicine has changed or has it?
To those with new knowledge of the field, it may seem fantastic and futuristic.
However, it is not. Some of it is old news. Let me explain a little.
New headlines amaze patients. Stem cells that cure AIDS. Growing body parts. Skin cells become embryonic stem cells.
Stem Cells and Growing Body Parts
Go back to 2009. Dr. Steve Badylak at the University of Pittsburgh was on 60 minutes for helping Corporal Hernandez, who has lost much of his quadriceps from an IED explosion in the Gulf War conflict. Rather than amputate his leg, Dr. Badylak’s research led him to explore regrowing his quadriceps with a Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering offshoot of stem cell science. Dr. Badylak had long researched the role of the extracellular matrix particles in creating a healing effect on tissue. It is extremely scientific. Let’s simplify and say certain substances in tissues can promote a healing effect by sending messages through the cell to cell signaling. These signals trigger growth factors and recruit nearby stem cells to repair skin or surgical wounds. These led to a colleague Surgeon at Harvard, Dr. Alan Spievack to growing an amputated finger of his brother. Dr. Badylak was featured on 60 minutes the Television News program in 2009 for regrowing Corporal Hernandez’s quadriceps muscle. Outstanding science, but that was 10 years ago.
Dennis M. Lox M.D. Sports and Regenerative Medicine
Dr. Lox began in Regenerative Medicine about this time 10 years ago. Having always had an interest in orthopedics and sports medicine, Dr. Lox was passionate about the field.
He began to entwine his prior expertise with new ones in Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell Science, and Tissue Engineering. One thing led to another, Professional athletes, odd medical ailments of joints not amenable to modern medicine, and a rapid understanding of the lack of knowledge between human Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell Science and the animal model.
Dr. Lox began lecturing with esteemed University Professors on both the national, and international level. Dr. Lox’s knowledge expanded and soon he was treating patients from around the world.
Dr. Anthony Atala and Expanded 3-D Bioprinting with Stem Cells
Dr. Atala at Wake Forrest gained similar attention on 60 minutes for using a 3-D bioprinter that used stem cells rather than ink to print human tissue. Dr. Atala gathered international attention for growing a bio-printed stem cell kidney and successfully transplanting into a 20-year-old male. Dr. Atala has continued to expand to bedside hospital skin bio-printing to replace skin grafts in burn patients. So on closer inspection, some old science that seemed futuristic is old and is continuing to be developed in new areas. Our health care system and Insurance payment system is way behind the Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell science of matters. That is, unfortunately, the way the system is. Slow progress.
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