regenerative_medicine - REGENERATIVE MEDICINE STATE OF ART...

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REGENERATIVE MEDICINE: STATE OF ART AND PERSPECTIVES Activity for MECH 634-Biomaterials and Medical Devices Cells are the basic independent units of life. Single-celled organisms display an astounding array of specialization and structure, enabling them to individually meet life’s challenges. Within the context of a body, however, cells rarely display autonomy, but continually interact with other cells and the extracellular matrix that surrounds and physically supports them. The cells of most animals are so highly specialized in form and function that they have lost the potential for independent living, and are often clustered into clearly identifiable masses. Cell clusters that perform similar functions are referred to as tissues. The structural and functional differences exhibited by tissues are direct consequences of both cellular and extracellular phenomena. All cells within tissues are separated and interlinked by an extracellular matrix (ECM) secreted by those cells. This ECM varies in composition from one PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
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tissue to another. Consistency may vary from a liquid (blood) to semisolid (cartilage) to solid (bone). The combination of cell activity and surrounding matrix is capable of producing a variety of tissue properties, ranging from transporting substances to serving as a protective scaffold. There are four general classifications of human tissues, based on structure and function. 1. Epithelial tissues cover the body and organ surfaces; line the body and cavities and form glands. 2. Connective tissues bind, support and protect body parts. 3. Muscle tissues contract to produce movement. 4. Neural tissues initiate and transmit nerve impulses from one body part to another. Over the last two decades, significant advances in understanding within the fields of cell biology, biophysics and biochemistry have yielded a greater understanding of the characteristics of living tissues. This insight into their structure and behavior has enabled researchers to plan the design and creation of new living tissues and organs to replace those that are diseased or missing. Although scientists can trace the origins of tissues and characterize their functions, many questions remain. How do cells know into what tissue they are to mature? How do tissues maintain their structural and functional identity? How do tissues coordinate their activities within the body? Why can some tissues regenerate and not others? Why can human fetuses regenerate limbs? Why do newborn babies rarely scar? Scientists have found at least two common threads related to these questions: genes and growth factors. Genes
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This note was uploaded on 02/07/2011 for the course MECH 633 taught by Professor Mohammadnasserdine during the Spring '10 term at American University of Beirut.

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regenerative_medicine - REGENERATIVE MEDICINE STATE OF ART...

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