You already know that scientists can grow tissues in the lab and physicians can transplant them successfully into living bodies, right?
A recent article in Scientific American brings us up to date on the rapidly progressing area of tissue and organ "farming."
Besides keeping us A&P professors up to speed on the latest practical applications of "why we need to know this stuff," the article does a great job of illustrating some of the core physiological and anatomical principles that affect such applications. For example, the article talks about the various concepts related to stem cells and development, as well as how the microenvironment of tissues affects their growth and development.
Check it out . . .
How to Grow New Organs
Pioneers in building living tissue report important advances over the last decade
Ali Khademhosseini et al.
Scientific American May 2009
[Great review article also includes related links and a nice photo of tissue growing on a 3D scaffold.]
EASTER EGG ALERT: Click on the thumbnail above to get a FREE image (including a PowerPoint slide) of how tissue can be grown and studied in the lab from a related PLoS ONE article Matrix Development in Self-Assembly of Articular Cartilage. (You may have to go to the blog at http://theAPprofessor.blogspot.com to get to the thumbnail or link if you are reading the this in a feed or newsletter.) article