The Herman Trend Alert|
November 24, 2010
The Future of Medicine is Regenerative
According to Dr. Anthony Atala, a researcher at Wake Forest University Medical Center, "Every 30 seconds, a patient dies from diseases that could be treated with tissue replacement". In fact, in the last decade the number of organs needed has doubled, while the number of transplants has remained flat.
To respond to this urgent need, Atala and his team created the world’s first lab-grown human bladder and are experimenting with growing 22 different types of tissue, including heart valves, muscle cells, arteries, and even fingers. Commercialized by Tengion Corporation, a clinical-stage biotech company based near Philadelphia, the Neo-bladder has completed clinical trials. However, Atala and his team have been conducting research into tissue regeneration for more than 20 years, most recently using 3D-printing and scaffolding organs with material that will disintegrate in the body after transplatation.
Now, another important player in this field has emerged with research and procedures that will change the lives of many---especially women who have had radical breast surgery. A San Diego-based biotech company Cytori Therapeutics is helping women regenerate their own breasts using fat tissue that has been enriched with stem cells. The results are startling.
Starting with chests that were mutilated by surgery, doctors are now able to produce normal breasts. The future is here today! And the raw material is harvested from their own body fat! But Cytori's success is not limited to breasts. The company is able to enhance, heal, and rebuild injured or damaged organs, including the heart, bladder, liver, kidney, and even bone marrow function.
As one might expect, the process is complicated. After $200 million in Research and Development, the company developed "the Celution System". The stem-cell enriched adipose tissue basically turns on the cells already present by creating blood-flow to the area. Results of recent studies and clinical trials have been very positive.
These are among the momentous medical advances of the 21st century. Once all of these processes and procedure are implemented, medicine, for those who can afford it, will be changed forever. And the best part is that we have only scratched the surface of the capability of these technologies.
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