How Does Regenerative Medicine Work?

The human body is designed to heal itself, but some injuries and health issues are so severe that the damage appears to be permanent. This is where tissue engineering, a branch of regenerative medicine, comes into play.

Tissues in the human body consist of a group of cells that contain similar structures working together to help perform certain functions. Your body contains the following four types of tissues:

  • Connective Tissue: This tissue holds together and supports several different internal body parts to prevent them from floating free. Your body’s connective tissues fill in empty spaces with a matrix containing fibers inside of a substance that is soft and jelly-like.
  • Epithelial Tissue: Epithelial cells make up tissues that are cubed, shaped like a column, or flat. They join together to form a stacked, singular sheet. Epithelial tissue protects your body by creating skin. It also acts as a lining for internal organs and cavities.
  • Muscle Tissue: Your body’s muscle tissue is made up of long and fibrous cells. These tissues make it possible for you to move various parts of your body when you voluntarily contract your muscles. Muscle tissues are the strongest of the tissue types because they are bundled and grouped in parallel lines.
  • Nervous Tissue: These tissues are located inside of your central nervous system and are comprised of uniquely specialized cells. Your central nervous system transmits signals to your brain and spinal cord with the help of these tissues as well as cells known as neurons. The neurons conduct impulses that enable you to use your senses.

Any one of these tissues can become damaged due to an illness or trauma. This can range from a minor problem such as carpal tunnel syndrome to traumatic brain injury. With the help of regenerative medicine, you may be able to repair your own tissues to regain the function you had.

Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering

The ultimate goal of tissue engineering is to heal patients of catastrophic injuries as well as cure complex and chronic diseases. Regenerative medicine is a broader field that includes tissue engineering, as well as self-healing (using the body’s own systems to recreate cells and rebuild tissues and organs).

Repairing or replacing your damaged tissue involves combining active molecules, cells, and scaffolds into new and functional tissue. A scaffold is a structure of artificial or natural materials where scientists grow tissue to replicates a biological process that takes place outside of the body or replaces damaged or diseased tissue inside of it. Artificial cartilage and skin are just two examples of this process.

Today’s regenerative medicine is truly an amazing field – helping to trigger the body’s regenerative capabilities to treat previously untreatable injuries, better manage pain, and help the body heal faster and more effectively. If you think you may be a candidate for regenerative medicine, or if you just want to know more, please feel free to contact Vanguard Spine and Sport by clicking here.

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