Injuries and diseases that cause tissue damage often lead to situations that need tissue or organ replacement, Normally tissue damage is corrected by an inherent regeneration mechanism in the body. In situations where the damage is extensive or the regeneration mechanism fails to work, organ transplantation is often required. The scarcity of obtaining organ or tissue for transplant, leave these patients with overall low quality of life and ﬁnancial burden on their family as well as the society as a whole.
The challenges of obtaining matched donor organ or tissue have led to the need for alternative sources. These alternatives include therapies that induce or promote regeneration of tissue in vivo as well as in vitro 3D tissue cultures for transplantation. Tissue engineering is an evolving discipline which deals with these alternative sources of tissue and organ for therapy and research.
Tissue engineering seeks to regenerate or replace part of whole organ or tissue such as blood vessels, bone, and cartilage.
It combines various methods including engineering, cell cultures, biomaterials, biophysical and biochemical factors in generation or regeneration of tissue. The cells used in tissue engineering are obtained from embryonic or adult sources. For the cells to have the required structure of tissue in vitro, these cells require mechanical support and manipulations that is where the engineering and biomaterials are employed. Also, the cells have to interact with each other as well as the biomaterials used and therefore the biochemical and biophysical factors are considered.
The cell cultures used in tissue engineering are not the traditional two-dimensional cell culture where cells grow in monolayers and unable to form and function as complex tissue structures.
Three—dimensional tissue cultures are employed in tissue engineering and the cells involved in these cultures simulate the normal morphology and physiology of cells in vivo‘ The numerous possible applications of tissue engineering in therapy and research has led to the development of various three-dimensional cell culture techniques. They include simple and sophisticated technologies like hanging drop method and 3D tissue printing respectively. More Technologies are being developed and it‘s a promising ﬁeld which bright future perspectives.
One of the key advantages of tissue engineering is that it has the potential to overcome the shortage of donor organs. Currently, there are far more patients in need of organ transplants than there are available organs. Tissue engineering has the potential to provide a sustainable and ethical solution to this problem by creating replacement tissues and organs in the laboratory. However, there are also a number of challenges and ethical issues associated with tissue engineering. These include ensuring the safety and efficacy of engineered tissues, addressing issues of cost and accessibility, and navigating the complex ethical considerations surrounding the use of human cells and tissues in research. Despite these challenges, tissue engineering holds tremendous promise for the future of medicine. With continued research and development, it has the potential to transform the way we approach a wide range of medical conditions and improve the quality of life for millions of patients around the world.