Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering: Past, Present, and Future

Authors


Address for correspondence: Julia M. Polak, Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine Centre, Imperial College, Chelsea & Westminster Campus, Fulham Road, London SW10 9NH, UK. Voice: +44-208-237-2569; fax: +44-9746-5619.
 e-mail: julia.polak@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

Abstract: Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that brings together the principles of the life sciences and medicine with those of engineering. The increase in its development over the past decade has resulted from a variety of factors; advances in genomics and proteomics, the advent of new biomaterials as potential templates for tissue growth, improvements in bioreactor design, and increased understanding of healing processes. Possibly the greatest contribution has come from our increased knowledge and understanding of stem cell biology, which is paving the way for the generation of unlimited cells of specific phenotypes for incorporation into engineered tissue constructs. Thus, tissue engineering approaches for expanding and engrafting the differentiated progeny of embryonic, fetal, or adult stem cells have major potential for tissue repair and will make a major contribution to medicine in the 21st century.

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