Regenerative medicine is a procedure of creating living functional tissues for repair or changing of tissues or organs that lose their functions secondary to age, disease, damage or congenital disorders.
In regenerative medicine, success is gained in two ways:
1. For self healing of these damaged tissues or organs; via stimulation of these regenerative (stem) cells, residents of these tissues and organs, by various methods (surgical and chemical signal transduction mechanisms),
2. When above mentioned processes are not sufficient; via re-transplantation of cells / stem cells, harvested from the person himself/herself or from an appropriate donor and are reproduced in laboratory conditions, or via transplantation of three dimensional tissue organ grafts, produced with the use of tissue engineering technologies together with these cells.
This new discipline of medicine and life sciences includes cooperation of entire clinical sciences in which implementations of immunology, cellular biology, chemistry, tissue and biomaterial engineering, molecular biology, developmental molecular biology, genetics and regenerative medicine are performed.
Era of regenerative medicine and stem cell
Recently, biggest developments in health sciences occur in fields of cellular biology, molecular biology and genetics. Incredible developments have been made in our knowledge of cell and stem cells, particularly in parallel with the scientific results of stem cell studies.
We have learnt that hair growth, regeneration of our skin following a cut and production of millions of blood cells in our bone marrow within minutes are normally performed by stem cells, dwelling in those tissues and organs. Later, we found that these cells do not only have the power to create cells of their host tissues or organs, but they also can differentiate into cells of other tissues and organs, when they are harvested in laboratory conditions.
After this particular stage; scientists thought of using stem cells, those have the ability to differentiate into various cells, in order to treat some untreatable diseases of today, that the common particularity of these diseases is loss of function of cells in damaged organs due to some reason.
Within last 10 to 15 years, majority of studies, those are being performed worldwide for this reason, occurs in the field of “Regenerative Medicine”.