Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine uses a combination of cells, scaffolding and bioreactive factors to treat a variety of pathological conditions and has become a treatment option for many adult diseases. In this book, the authors present current research from across the globe, in the study of the fundamentals, techniques and applications of tissue engineering.
Promising treatments now in more than 35,000 clinical trials could have dramatic impacts on cancer, autoimmune diseases, organ replacement, heart disease, and even aging itself. These treatments, which are saving the lives of patients in the trials, will soon be rolled to the medical community at large.
The key to these breakthroughs is the use of living cells as medicine instead of traditional drugs. Research has found that our bodies are virtual treasure troves of adult cells that act as agents of remarkable healing and repair. These cells have been called adult stem cells because they resemble embryonic cells in their ability to transform into many other cell types but without the ethical and moral concerns of embryonic cells.
Adult cells can reprogram cells to work more efficiently. They can also carry edited genetic code to repair mistakes, and deliver targeted therapies, allowing them to address and even cure many diseases affecting children and adults.
The applications of these cellular therapies are broad and growing. Regenerative medicine allows doctors to repair injured and aging tissues and, incredibly, to create artificial body parts and organs in the lab.
Julia Szabo was a nationally-recognized pet reporter when her dog Sam collapsed from osteoarthritis. Diligently researching how to restore his quality of life, she discovered Vet-Stem, a service that provides cutting-edge regeneration therapy for pets, using stem cells harvested from animals’ own tissue. Just hours after receiving IV and intra-joint injections, Sam began aging backward–which left Julia wondering why this simple, effective treatment was not available for humans.
Julia suffered from chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and after witnessing Sam’s astonishing recovery, she set out on a curious quest: to be treated like a dog by a doctor as competent as her vet! After a four-year wait, Julia became the first American to be successfully cured of a perirectal fistula with stem cells derived from her own fat. With this amazing true story of how a pack of shelter dogs she rescued from death row came to save her life, Julia hopes to inspire and inform readers about exciting healthcare options available to them and their cherished animal companions.