Is there a time when medical progress reaches a point where we no longer need to insert organs into the body to replace those that have failed? When our bodies no longer contain enough insulin, do we need to take it? When does nerve damage paralysis become repairable and reversible? This is the kind of thing that regenerative medicine can help us with. Have a look at QC Kinetix (Austin)
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Regenerative medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on using the body’s own regenerative abilities to treat illnesses. When properly implemented, this type of medicine would allow us to restore the structure and function of damaged organs and tissues. It might even enable us to treat diseases that some of us are born with. Allowing many disabled people to live healthier lives, which few had the opportunity to do just a few decades ago.
There are a few different concentrations in this branch of medicine:
Cellular Therapies: These are treatments that use the body’s cells to regrow parts of the body that have been damaged, such as nerve or cardiac tissue. In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death. Heart disease is caused by the irreversible death of heart cells caused by a clogged cardiac artery during and after a heart attack. These dead heart cells could be replaced with new cardiac cells using stem cell treatments.
Artificial Organs: While this technique does not necessarily regenerate an organ, it does restore its function by replacing it with a new organ that can perform the functions of the previously damaged organ. This is one of the few regenerative therapies that has been tried and tested on a large number of patients with great success. Many people have artificial hearts and lungs, but the majority are still waiting for a transplant, so this technology serves as a bridge to tissue engineering, which is the true cure.
Tissue Engineering is a technique that involves repairing or replacing damaged organs in the body with lab-grown organs. Once this procedure is mastered, organ transplants as we know them will be obsolete. No one would have to wait years on a waiting list for an organ that could be rejected by the body once implanted. These organs and tissues could be grown using the patient’s own cells thanks to Tissue Engineering. Giving us an infinite supply of everything that had a finite lifetime before. Human lifespans would almost certainly increase as a result of such a breakthrough.
Clinical Translation is a term that encompasses many of these techniques. Clinical translation is the process of putting these methods to the test in real-world situations so that they can be used in conventional medicine. These therapies will be studied and used on more patients as time goes on, perfecting the different types of regenerative treatments and even designing entirely new ones.