This overview traces the history of regenerative medicine pertinent to organ transplantation, illustrates potential clinical applications reported to date, and highlights progress achieved in the field of complex modular organ engineering. Regenerative medicine can now produce relatively simple tissues such as skin, bladders, vessels, urethras, and upper airways, whereas engineering or generation of complex modular organs remains a major challenge. Ex vivo organ engineering may benefit from complementary investigations in the fields of developmental biology and stem cells and transplantation before its full potential can be realized.
1 Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Winston Salem, NC.
2 Transplantation Research Immunology Group, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
3 Department of General Surgery, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC.
4 Department of Urology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC.
Giuseppe Orlando, M.D., Ph.D. is recipient of the Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship POIF-GA-2008-221850, financed by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program for Research and Development.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
5 Address correspondence to: Giuseppe Orlando, M.D., Ph.D., M.C.F., Transplantation Research Immunology Group, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, 6 Floor, Headington, Oxford, UK.
Received 8 December 2010. Revision requested 31 January 2011.
Accepted 10 March 2011.