• Open Access

Regenerative medicine: then and now – an update of recent history into future possibilities

Authors

  • E. Polykandriotis,

    1. Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery and Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, University of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
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  • L. M. Popescu,

    1. Academy of Medical Sciences, ‘V. Babes’ National Institute of Pathology Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
    2. Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
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  • R. E. Horch

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery and Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, University of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
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Correspondence to: Prof. Dr. med. Raymund E. HORCH, Department Plastic and Hand Surgery and Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, University of Erlangen, Krankenhausstrasse 12,
91054 Erlangen, Germany.
Tel.: + 49–9131-8533277
Fax: + 49–9131-8539327
E-mail: raymund.horch@uk-erlangen.de

Abstract

  • • Introduction
  • • Regeneration in the ancient world
  • • Regeneration in early research
  • • Tissue engineering
  • • The era of regenerative medicine
  • • Regenerative medicine today
  • • Conclusion

The fields of tissue engineering (TE) and regenerative medicine (RegMed) are yet to bring about the anticipated therapeutic revolution. After two decades of extremely high expectations and often disappointing returns both in the medical as well as in the financial arena, this scientific field reflects the sense of a new era and suggests the feeling of making a fresh start although many scientists are probably seeking reorientation. Much of research was industry driven, so that especially in the aftermath of the recent financial meltdown in the last 2 years we have witnessed a biotech asset yard sale. Despite any monetary shortcomings, from a technological point of view there have been great leaps that are yet to find their way to the patient. RegMed is definitely bound to play a major role in our life because it embodies one of the primordial dreams of mankind, such as: everlasting youth, flying, remote communication and setting foot on the moon. The Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine has been at the frontier of these developments in TE and RegMed from its beginning and reflects recent scientific advances in both fields. Therefore this review tries to look at RegMed through the keyhole of history which might just be like looking ‘back to the future’.

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