Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Australian and American Researchers Team to Advance Regenerative Medicine Strategies

When humans can grow new organs to replace tired or damaged organs, we will transcend one of the reasons for too-early death: organ failure. Every advance in the field of regenerative medicine is a positive step toward that goal.
John Foster's Bio/Polymer Research Group at the University of NSW worked out in 2004 the correct wavelength of infra-red laser to seal sheets of the university's patented discovery, SurgiLux, over wounds.

Now Foster is teaming up with Stephen Badylak, pioneer of the extra-cellular matrix, at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Badylak creates ECM from ground-up pig organs. It acts as a scaffolding material for wounds and can be absorbed by the body. Cells spontaneously regrow on it and adult stem cells are attracted from other parts of the body, developing into tissue similar to the original.

These scaffolds have helped more than one million people regrow cartilage, rebuild urethras and repair hernias.

Foster and Badylak hold high hopes for the marriage of their technologies now that Foster has been awarded aFulbright senior scholarship that will fund him for up to four months' work with Badylak's group from June next year. The aim is to develop the technology to support the surgical repair ofnerves. _Australian
Growing new cells and tissues in the proper mix of cell types with neurovascular and lymphatic support, will require precise methods and timing. Learning how to best attach the new cells, tissues, and organs to the rest of the body is a vital part of the regenerative picture.



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