When you scrape your knee or get a cut, your body can heal itself, but it cannot perform this regeneration for other conditions. The study of regenerative medicine attempts to discover therapies and treatments that aid in the regeneration of cells for those conditions that cannot be healed over time. Regenerative medicine has tremendous potential to improve the quality of life for millions worldwide; understanding the possibilities in the field can give you insight into the future of medicine and anti-aging strategies.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine reaches across fields and industries to impact advances in biology, chemistry, and more. Regenerative medicine aims to create therapies to help rebuild broken or mutated cells to heal people’s bodies from chronic or hereditary conditions. Regenerative medicine was first researched in the 1990s when scientists began doing skin grafts and experimenting with stem cells. Stem cells can be grown in a laboratory setting and instructed to act like specific cells in the body. Once injected, these stem cells will act as those cells in your heart, lungs, or wherever needed to repair damaged cells. For complete regeneration to occur, healing must occur on the molecular level, including our DNA, and at the cellular level, reconstructing broken or damaged cell structures. Finally, the tissue itself has to be repaired, including your bones, muscles, and skin. Regenerative medicine can be used for many conditions such as diabetes, certain cancers, brain injuries, etc.
There are several types of regenerative therapies; cell therapies are among the most groundbreaking research fields in biopharmaceuticals and regenerative medicine today. Cellular therapy includes injecting adult stem cells into damaged or diseased tissue to reconstruct those cells. Everyone’s body contains millions of stem cells that act as your tissue’s building blocks for healing. Biopharma manufacturers such as Avantor make it possible for laboratories to get the medical-grade equipment and materials they need to conduct this groundbreaking research. “Avantor delivers everything needed for cell therapy research, development, and production. Our mission is to enable scientific breakthroughs and set science in motion to create a better world.” Groups like Avantor help to lead the charge in cellular therapy research, which can save lives and further advance anti-aging research.
Tissue engineering using biomaterials is another regenerative therapy technique. Researchers will engineer biologically compatible materials, which will act as the infrastructure where new tissue needs to be built. This biomaterial attracts cells that can grow new tissue with exercise and could regenerate the damaged tissue area in time.
Artificial organs and implanted medical devices are another form of regenerative therapy. If someone’s organs cannot support themselves and the patient cannot get access to an organ donor, doctors may recommend a medical device that can mechanically support the organ. An example of these medical devices would be a VAD, a ventricular assist device, which can continue to pump the heart for a patient awaiting a heart transplant.
There are discoveries and innovations in regenerative medicine every year. This field holds tremendous potential for anti-aging healthcare and overcoming hereditary and chronic conditions. Regenerative medicine could help us rebuild our cells from their most basic building blocks to create new, functioning tissue and repair cells. Staying updated with the advances in regenerative medicine could help you understand your options for care should you ever suffer from a condition that could benefit from regenerative therapies.