Patching the Body With Fabric From Protein

June 21, 2005 | Source: New York Times

Researchers are working to create replacement human tissue from a naturally occurring protein, elastin.

In animal studies financed by the Army, Dr. Kenton Gregory, director of the Oregon Medical Laser Center, has succeeded in patching what would usually be fatal wounds to the gastrointestinal tract and other organs with living tissue that is accepted by the body and that eventually becomes part of the organ itself.

“We are really at the beginnings of the tissue regeneration revolution,” Colonel Vandre of the Army said. “Now that we have learned how to manipulate genes and are learning how to influence cell growth and differentiation, we can truly start to think about regenerating whole body organs and parts such as limbs.”