Over the years, several innovations and advancements have occurred in the health and medicine industry. And some of these innovative technologies come from the regenerative medicine field. Despite the numerous difficulties the industry has faced for many years, mainly due to the moral issues raised by the various methodologies, there’s evidence of potential growth. It is because of the demand for improved methods of treating a range of medical conditions.
Although regenerative medicine is still considered a developing technology, it’s expected to alter many aspects of healthcare.
What Is Regenerative Medicine?
If you’re unfamiliar with ‘regenerative medicine,’ it’s an industry attracting the attention of many for its innovations. Several breakthroughs in this field, such as stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, are already available. Exosome therapy has recently gained popularity in this industry because it’s similar to stem cell therapy but promises better results.
The main goal of regenerative medicine is to develop methods that focus on regrowing or repairing body cells, tissues, and organs that are sick or damaged because of health conditions. Over time, these therapies have been tested to see if they’re effective in managing various conditions, such as cardiovascular, neurologic, hereditary, immune, metabolic, or musculoskeletal issues.
The stem cell and tissue engineering industries have grown in popularity. Today, there are various gene and cell therapies with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, while several are still in the process of undergoing further testing and trials.
Emerging Trends In Regenerative Medicine
Further growth in the regenerative medicine industry is likely in the coming years. Some driving factors are the aging population and the need for effective treatments for chronic health conditions. Unfortunately, the high costs associated with the study and further testing of these therapies can hinder their further development and market availability. Additionally, the strict regulatory guidelines when conducting clinical trials can deter the adoption of these regenerative therapies;
- Cellular Therapy
Cellular therapy entails repairing damaged cells with biological or synthetic materials. It is an expanding trend in regenerative medicine. However, more research and manufacturing in this field are needed.
This form of regenerative therapy’s main objective is to replace damaged or diseased tissues by utilizing the autologous cells or healthy stem cells of the same person.
Generally, it includes stem cells from the bone marrow, placenta, umbilical cord, and many more. However, the preparation process can be lengthy because it involves several highly complex procedures before it’s ready for use.
- Gene Therapy
Another form of regenerative therapy that’s gaining popularity is gene therapy. When a person receives this treatment, genes are delivered directly into the target cells to correct any defects caused by mutations.
Over the years, scientists have performed lengthy research on its applications in various health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and diabetes, to name a few.
If you closely look into gene therapy, it’s categorized into two forms: ex vivo and in vivo. This therapy generally entails isolating defective cells and introducing improved renditions of the faulty ones.
- Tissue Engineering
Another popular form of regenerative therapy is tissue engineering, which involves replacing damaged, diseased, or lost tissues or organs with constructed replacements.
Tissue engineering research mainly prioritizes the development of functional replacements for damaged tissues and organs.
One of the primary distinctions of tissue engineering is that it involves the growth of modified tissues that closely resemble natural ones in the body.
Scientists can create these replacements during the developmental phase by combining key elements such as cells, biomaterials, and signals. Among these essential components, biomaterials play a critical role in providing structural support for the infused tissues.
- Exosome Therapy
Exosome therapy is a new regenerative therapy on the market. Exosomes are extracellular vesicles derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). They can develop into any cell type in the body. The exosomes function as messengers that transport proteins and genetic information from one cell to another in the body.
Depending on the condition, introducing exosomes into the area through the injection can signal the cells to repair themselves, eventually regenerating and returning to normal.
As one of the emerging regenerative therapies, exosome therapy is a promising option for managing certain conditions like chronic pain and inflammation, degenerative diseases, and autoimmune ailments.
Over the years, continuous studies and testing on the various regenerative medicine therapies brought about different innovations that changed the health and medical industry. Although most of these regenerative therapies are already available for people to use, some are still undergoing further study. If you have a health condition and would want to try out these therapies, it may be best to know everything there’s to know to help you make the right choice for your health.