Tissue Engineering. Tissue engineering is a young, emerging, very promising area of medicine that combines engineering principles and processes to human tissues, resulting in the modification and ideally the regeneration of tissues which are able to fully function like the original tissues. The resulting engineered, living tissues may be delivered to the body at places of injury, trauma or disease, thus stimulating the body’s natural healing processes. It does this by activating the body’s innate ability to regrow and regenerate. At this time, scientists still have a great deal to learn about the body’s ability to regenerate tissues, but there are already innovative therapies that are intended to heal or reconstruct diseased tissues, and to support further regeneration and repair. Such therapies are helping to speed up healing and to help heal tissues that cannot heal on their own. Researchers feel that, in the future, tissue engineering will likely help to heal fractures, severe burns, chronic wounds, heart and nerve damage and likely many other diseases as well. While it is true that most of the industry and its benefits lie in the future, the promise of tissue engineering is materializing virtually on a daily basis.
Cell Therapy. Patient-specific cell therapies are either autologous or allogeneic. Off-the-shelf cell therapies involve donor cells which are expanded in tissue cultures, allowing the growth of large banks of cells. These cells, which originally came from a single individual, can then be frozen or otherwise preserved for use as treatments for potentially thousands of patients. By definition, off-the-shelf cell therapies are always allogeneic. Formally speaking, cell therapy covers a wide area, touching as it does on gene therapy, cancer vaccines, and even on delivery of drugs to tumour bodies. Cells might be delivered by injection directly to the site of disease, or by using a medical device. Some areas of cell therapy have shown distinct promise in early clinical trials, but only Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials will show whether the therapies will work in the clinic. Safety is of leading importance whenever cell therapies are involved. The areas of greatest interest for cell therapy at this time are cancer, cardiovascular and neurological, as well as for treatment of diabetes.
Source: Smithers Apex
Tissue engineering and cell therapy markets are the subject of a pending global study by Smithers Apex.