Replacement Organs and Tissues
Replacement Organs and Tissue
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.