As the demand to replace or renew old, injured or diseased tissue continues to increase, it is obvious that this demand cannot be met through organ donation alone. An alternative approach is required. Tissue or organ engineering brings together the skills and expertise of cell biologist, bioengineers, material scientists and clinicians/surgeons with the goal of creating functional tissues and organs in the laboratory for patient benefit.
The basic components required for tissue engineering functional organs are two fold; a scaffold or framework of the tissue or organ required and cells (stem cells or differentiated cells), which must come together in a symbiotic relationship in order to create functional tissue. The teams focus is to develop and use innovative technologies in each of these two disciplines and to create lasting solutions which address defined clinical problems whilst adding to our basic understanding of regenerative medicine and its future potential.