G. Vunjak-Novakovic UDC: (602.9)
Today, we live longer and better than ever before. The aging population and increasing expectations for an improved quality of life are driving a need for developing treatment modalities for the repair or replacement of tissues lost to injury, congenital abnormality or disease. Tissue engineering is responding to this need by developing methods for the use of stem cells from a variety of sources for full regeneration of tissue structure and function. At the same time, engineered tissues are serving as models for biological research, study of disease, testing of drugs, and development of personalized therapeutic modalities that are tailored to a specific patient and medical condition. We review here the general concept of tissue engineering, and the potential and challenges of this rapidly developing interdisciplinary field.