Scientists in the United States, Mexico and Switzerland grew reproductive organs and nasal cartilage in labs, and successfully implanted them in patients, according to two studies released in The Lancet on Thursday.
It is not the first time scientists have engineered body parts — in effect, creating organs where before there were none. What is different in these cases is the size and complexity of the organs.
“This is a move forward to even more challenging (organs),” said Ivan Martin, a professor of tissue engineering at University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, and co-author of the nasal cartilage study.
“All these incremental steps finally have demonstrated that it is possible to engineer tissue that can help patients.”
Tissue engineering has focused primarily on repair: burned skin, muscle shorn off during in an accident, a dysfunctional bladder. Recent advances go beyond repair to replacement.see more