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					What is regenerative medicine?
Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison




  R
         egenerative medicine is a new scientific     impaired by disease. Using factors to activate
         and medical discipline focused on har-       and promote instrinsic repair processes in a
         nessing the power of stem cells and the      diseased organ opens up whole new horizons
  body's own regenerative capabilities to restore     for therapies targeted toward many degenera-
  function to damaged cells, tissues and organs.      tive diseases.

  Researchers in this field seek to understand how    Thus, specially grown tissues and cells, struc-
  and why various kinds of stem cells are able        tures resembling artificial organs, other labo-
  to develop into specialized cells and tissues.      ratory-made compounds, and combinations
  Basic scientists and doctors working together       of these approaches make up the regenerative
  are growing stem cells into the specific cell       medicine approach to treating injuries and dis-
  types they hope to transplant into patients to      ease. Regenerative medicine can involve the
  repair or replace damaged or destroyed cells.       production of new tissue or simply improving
  Researchers also aim to develop tissue replace-     the function of existing tissue.
  ment therapies that could restore lost function
  in damaged organs, or perhaps even grow new,        Many UW-Madison scientists are using regen-
  fully functioning organs for transplant.            erative medicine approaches to grow cells and
                                                      tissues with the overriding goal of helping the
  In addition to the study and development of         body repair itself. In some cases, clinical trials
  stem cells, regenerative medicine also includes     pioneering these new therapies are beginning.
  the new field of tissue engineering. Bioengi-
  neers working with developmental biologists,         Directors: Timothy Kamp, M.D.
  physicians, nanotechnologists and other special-                Clive Svendsen, Ph.D.
  ists can construct connecting tissues and poten-
  tially organs on matrices, or scaffolds made of      Administrator: Rupa Shevde, D.M.Sc.
  biological materials to resemble cartilage, bone
  and other supporting structures that support         Program:     Sue Gilbert
  cellular, tissue and organ growth. This 3D ap-                    sggilber@wisc.edu
  proach mimics human anatomical development
  much better than anything researchers can come       Outreach: Jordana Lenon
  up with in a culture dish. It is the next step to              jlenon@primate.wisc.edu
  testing therapies for safety and effectiveness
  before trying them in animals and in people.         Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Center
                                                       1500 Highland Avenue
  Regenerative medicine also seeks to understand       Madison, WI 53705
  and promote the ability of an organ or tissue to     phone: (608) 263-2982
  repair itself. Many adult tissues contain stem       fax: (608) 263-5267
  cells, but the stem cells are dysfunctional or       www.stemcells.wisc.edu




                                                                                        Copyright 2008
                                                                        University of Wisconsin System
                                                                                      Board of Regents

				
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