Tissue engineering is the use of a combination of cells, engineering and materials methods, and suitable biochemical and physio-chemical factors to improve or replace biological functions. While it was once categorized as a sub-field of bio materials, having grown in scope and importance it can be considered as a field in its own right.
While most definitions of tissue engineering cover a broad range of applications, in practice the term is closely associated with applications that repair or replace portions of or whole tissues (i.e., bone, cartilage, blood vessels, bladder, skin, muscle etc.). Often, the tissues involved require certain mechanical and structural properties for proper functioning. The term has also been applied to efforts to perform specific biochemical functions using cells within an artificially-created support system (e.g. an artificial pancreas, or a bio artificial liver). The term regenerative medicine is often used synonymously with tissue engineering, although those involved in regenerative medicine place more emphasis on the use of stem cells to produce tissues.
Famous quotes containing the words tissue and/or engineering:
“Whether or not his newspaper and a set of senses reduced to five are the main sources of the so-called real life of the so- called average man, one thing is fortunately certain: namely, that the average man himself is but a piece of fiction, a tissue of statistics.”
—Vladimir Nabokov (18991977)
“Mining today is an affair of mathematics, of finance, of the latest in engineering skill. Cautious men behind polished desks in San Francisco figure out in advance the amount of metal to a cubic yard, the number of yards washed a day, the cost of each operation. They have no need of grubstakes.”
—Merle Colby, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)