Editor’s Pick: A Regenerative Biology View on Artificial Tissue Construction and Three-Dimensional Bioprinting: What May We Learn from Natural Regenerative Phenomena?

The choice of editor’s pick for this edition comes courtesy of Henrik Lauridsen. A stimulating consideration of the nature of regeneration and the impact of humans’ low regenerative potential is given throughout this paper. The author provides some excellent examples from the natural world and, in discussing the current technological state of affairs, highlights how far this field has developed. It is certainly thought-provoking to contemplate the potential of artificial tissue regeneration.

*Henrik Lauridsen

Comparative Medicine Lab, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
*Correspondence to henrik@clin.au.dk

Disclosure: The author has declared no conflicts of interests.
Received: 30.10.16 Accepted: 20.03.17
Citation: EMJ. 2017;2[2]:16-21.

Abstract

The implications of the low tissue regenerative potential in humans are severe and widespread. Several of our major diseases are direct results of this deficiency that leaves us vulnerable to events of tissue damage. This is opposed to some animal groups, such as the urodele amphibians (salamanders), that display distinct tissue regeneration after injury. An important goal of biomedical engineering is the construction of artificial tissue that can ultimately be transplanted into patients, however, such constructs are still in their infancy for more complex structures. Approaches of constructing artificial organ structures by decellularisation/recellularisation procedures and recently with three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting show promising results in obtaining anatomically accurate constructs, however, the function of these artificial tissues is still lacking compared to natural tissues. This review will highlight how the relatively mature fields of regenerative biology and medicine can have potential usage in the younger bioengineering field of artificial tissue construction by drawing on the knowledge of how intrinsic tissue regeneration takes place in nature.

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