The Next Frontier in Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative medicine is a form of tissue engineering and molecular biology which deals with the "process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function". When injured or invaded by disease, our bodies have the innate response to heal and defend. Harnessing and enhancing the body's own regenerative powers is a medical practice at the frontier of present-day advancements whose properties may seem miraculous to those who benefit from them. The miracle, however, is the result of scientific exploration that has begun to unlock and utilize the body's extraordinary ability to heal and restore itself..
Cells are the building blocks of tissue, and tissues are the basic unit of function in the body. Generally, groups of cells make and secrete their own support structures, called the extracellular matrix. This matrix, or scaffold, does more than just support the cells; it also acts as a relay station for various signaling molecules. Thus, cells receive messages from many sources that become available from the local environment.