Bioengineering with biological scaffolds
Each and every day, thousands of surgeries are performed to repair or replace damaged tissues; due to diseases, injuries or trauma. However, with the conceptual applications of stem cells based therapies, it has been observed that these lost cells can be regenerated or repaired, without much hassles of surgeries and/or organ donations. Parallel to the advancements of stem cells based therapies; their applications in tissue engineering as biological scaffolds are attracting many scientists, who wish to mimic the nature as it is.
In the recent years, major breakthroughs have taken place in creating tissue engineered organs; such as skin, bladder, airway, etc. Although, amniotic membrane obtained from extra embryonic fetal tissues of the humans can act as a naturally derived biomaterial, possessing great biological, supportive and mechanical properties that are important for tissue engineering.
Although revolutionary, it is also to be noted that amniotic membrane have been used in the medicine for more than 100 years, with its first successful application reported in 1910, for management of severe skin burns and hard to heal wounds such as diabetic foot. Studies so far have confirmed exclusive properties of amniotic membranes such as anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-scarring, etc.
The above observations, could lead to the successful utilization of these frozen amniotic membranes, as biological dressings in wounds, ophthalmology and some of the common problems such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome; along with the infusion of stem cells to maximise the outcome. The auto as well as allo implantation of these amniotic membranes, along with the infusion of stem cells can definitely meet the expectations of scar less surface regeneration; which is required in case of burns, ulcers and ocular surface healing.
Thus, considering the appealing biocompatibility and bioactivity of amniotic membranes, their applications as a novel biocomposite material along with the use of mesenchymal stem cells can be a rocking combination to enhance guaranteed tissue regeneration with the customization possibilities. The use of this technology could be adopted in the field of cosmetics, ophthalmology and other common conditions listed above.