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March 06, 2010

Tissue Engineering and Regeneration of Breasts, Limbs and Kidneys

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1. Melbourne aims to become an international leader in "limb regeneration" with plans for a dedicated centre.

The O'Brien Institute plans to combine its expertise in tissue regeneration and stem cell technology, as well as more traditional surgical methods, to help people with injured and amputated arms and legs. Tissue regeneration is a discipline some experts believe will lead to patients being able to regrow body parts.

The institute opened Australia's first stem cell bank last year.

It is also behind a world-first trial on breast cancer patients which, if successful, will allow women to regrow their breasts from implants of fat cells.




2. U.S. researchers say they've discovered a molecular pathway that can regenerate damaged kidney tissue.

In a multi-institution collaboration led by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the Harvard Medical School, scientists said their findings might also lead to new therapies for repairing injuries in several other organ systems.

Acute kidney injury is a significant cause of kidney disease, cardiovascular complications and early death. There are currently no effective treatments for acute kidney injury.

The scientists found the protein Wnt7b helped initiate tissue repair and regeneration in injured kidneys

Proceedings of the National Academy of Science - Macrophage Wnt7b is critical for kidney repair and regeneration


Macrophages are required for tissue homeostasis through their role in regulation of the immune response and the resolution of injury. Here we show, using the kidney as a model, that the Wnt pathway ligand Wnt7b is produced by macrophages to stimulate repair and regeneration. When macrophages are inducibly ablated from the injured kidney, the canonical Wnt pathway response in kidney epithelial cells is reduced. Furthermore, when Wnt7b is somatically deleted in macrophages, repair of injury is greatly diminished. Finally, injection of the Wnt pathway regulator Dkk2 enhances the repair process and suggests a therapeutic option. Because Wnt7b is known to stimulate epithelial responses during kidney development, these findings suggest that macrophages are able to rapidly invade an injured tissue and reestablish a developmental program that is beneficial for repair and regeneration.

8 pages of supplemental material


3. Octane Medical Group's biomaterial is already being used in spinal surgery to repair damage caused by degenerative disc diseases, while its next generation of products will be used to repair knee cartilage or heart valves damaged by diseases such as arterial sclerosis

4. Mesynthes, a privately held regenerative medicine company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted clearance for the company’s Endoform Dermal Template. Endoform, a proprietary extracellular matrix biomaterial, provides a unique biologic template for tissue regeneration.


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