August 04, 2006

Other peoples Timelines for Manipulating and Greatly Enhancing Human Regeneration

from fighting aging: The convergence of funding and estimated timelines in science is a fascinating process to watch; as a general rule, timelines only start to appear once funding is assured. Once they find out what allows salamanders to regenerate and what keeps us from being able to, they hope to create a pill or bandage that would spur regeneration in humans. Some experts are predicting this to occur in 10-15 years.

Stem cell medicine will mature over 10-20 years.

Within 20 years regenerative medicine will be the standard of care for replacing all tissue/organ systems in the body in addition to extensive industrial use for pharmaceutical testing. The ultimate goal at the end of 20 years is to have real time mass customization of tissues on demand, in vivo. During those 20 years, as our knowledge of tissues grows, it is reasonable to expect to see treatments discovered along the way, roughly at the 5, 10 and 20 year marks. In 5 years the following milestones are hoped for:

- Develop multiple applications for skin, cartilage, bone, blood vessel, and some urological products
- Solve cell sourcing issues, giving researchers access to the materials they need to design new therapies
- Establish cost-effective means of production, paving the way for future products
- Establish specialized cell banks for tissue storage, allowing storage of viable "off the shelf" products

In 10 years, effective regenerative medicine therapies will be available for patient care and industrial research and development purposes. At this time, the following may be achieved:

- Further understand stem cell and progenitor cell biology
- Engineer smart degradable biocompatible scaffolding
- Develop microfabrication and nanofabrication technologies to produce tissues with their own complete vascular circulation
- Develop complex organ patches, that could repair damaged pieces of the heart or other organs

Ultimately, within 20 years the full benefits of regenerative medicine therapies will be reached. Some of the applications of regenerative medicine could be:

- Harness regenerative medicine materials to produce in situ regeneration of diseased and damaged structures in many areas of the body
- Regenerate most damaged tissues and organs either in vivo or through implanted regeneration therapies
- Produce in vitro sophisticated 3-D tissues and organs that cannot be regenerated through in vivo techniques, such as an entire heart or lung

Aggressive researchers are predicting significant stem cell success in 2 years