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A Record of “World Firsts”

Physicians and scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine are developing organs and tissues for virtually every part of the human body. The team's track record includes many “world firsts." This world-renowned team has engineered replacement tissues and organs in all four categories: flat structures, tubular tissue, and hollow and solid organs.

● Selected to lead the second phase of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a $75-million project. (2013/14)

● Built the first anal sphincters that function in animals, suggesting a potential future treatment for both fecal and urinary incontinence. (2011)

● First to engineer functional experimental solid organs (miniature livers and penile erectile tissue) using a strategy of recycling donor organs, with potential applications to other solid organs, such as the kidney and pancreas. (2009 and 2010)

● Selected to co-lead the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, an $85 million, federally funded effort to apply the science of regenerative medicine to battlefield injuries. (2008)

Identified and characterized a new source of stem cells derived from amniotic fluid and placenta, which show promise for the treatment of many diseases. (2007)

● Founded the Regenerative Medicine Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of regenerative medicine treatments and therapies. (2005)

● Led the team to engineered tubular organs (urine conduits) and implanted them in patients. (2004)

● First to create a functional solid organ experimentally, a miniature kidney that secretes urine. (2003)

● First to create a laboratory-grown organ -- engineered bladder tissue (hollow organ) -- that was successfully implanted in patients. (1999)

● First to use biomaterials alone, without the addition of cells, in patients for the regeneration of organs. (1996)

● Developed the first tissue-engineered product to go to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval for clinical applications, consisting of cells and biomaterials for injectable therapy. (1995)

● First to demonstrate that complex layered tissue structures can be engineered using cells. (1994)


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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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World's First Laboratory-Engineered Organ

World's First Laboratory-Engineered Organ

Institute researchers were the first in the world to engineer an organ in the lab that was successfully implanted into patients.


Last Updated: 09-01-2016
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