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What is tissue engineering?

Tissue engineering is a new area of science. It includes growing living human tissue for transplantation and other uses. Tissue engineering combines biology and engineering. It looks for ways to restore, maintain, or improve tissue function. One example of this is the use of cartilage cells to replace damaged or destroyed cartilage. Normal, healthy cartilage cells called chondrocytes are removed from the knee. These are grown and multiplied in a lab and then reinjected into the knee. The new cells are injected into the area of damaged cartilage. This allows the patient to regrow a smooth joint surface. The new, smooth weight-bearing surface is less likely to become arthritic. Many different types of tissue can be grown this way. This includes skin, bone, ligaments, and tendons. In the future, labs may be able to make donor tissue and organs for anyone who needs them. Living tissue and electronics may be combined to form new joints. These are only a few of the many possible uses for tissue engineering.


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*Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

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