Replacement Organs and Tissues

Replacement Organs and Tissue

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Tissue Engineering is the science of growing replacement organs and tissue in the lab to replace damaged or diseased tissue. The process usually starts with a three-dimensional structure called a scaffold that is used to support cells as they grow and develop. Skin, blood vessels, bladders, trachea, esophagus, muscle and other types of tissue have been successfully engineered; and some of these tissues have already been used in treating human disease.

Solid organs -- such as the liver, kidney, heart and pancreas -- are especially challenging and are considered the "Holy Grail" of tissue engineering. Scientists at the Institute are working on a variety of strategies to engineer solid organs. 

Research Initiatives


HTML IconResearchers have built the first functional anal sphincters in the laboratory, suggesting a potential future treatment for both fecal and urinary incontinence.
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Learn more about our initiatives to build blood vessels in the laboratory grown from a person's own cells that can replace diseased or damaged vessels.

HTML IconA project to engineer human eggs in the lab for in vitro fertilization produres would benefit woman with premature ovary failure and other conditions that make pregnancy difficult.
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WFIRM scientists are working toward the day when they can engineer heart valves in the laboratory that will be perfect matches for patients needing valve replacement surgery.


Our scientists are investigating the use of cell therapy to replace damaged kidney tissue and the potentiality of devices that can be implanted in the body to augment kidney function.

Video IconSuccess engineering a miniature human liver in the lab is an early important milestone is a project that aims to build replacement organs in the lab.



Quick Reference

Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Phone 336-713-7293
Fax 336-713-7290

Richard H. Dean Biomedical Building
391 Technology Way
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
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Last Updated: 02-05-2015
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.