By Sajia Athai
Published 12:20 PM EST, Tues March 30, 2021
Have you ever taken an interest in regenerative medicine? If not, perhaps you’d be interested in a possible advancement related to it that would benefit us all. Over a long period of time, scientists and researchers have hoped that regenerative medicine would advance further into treating conditions, diseases, and more illnesses related to health. Regenerative medicine was not only an opportunity but a breakthrough into solving even more severe illnesses such as cancer. Recently, scientists and researchers discovered neurons with unique structures that would help to create effective regenerative medicine that would help brain and spinal cord injuries.
A new printable biomaterial was found that it replicates properties that brain tissue has. To elaborate, the material would be utilized in regenerative medicine to fix the errors and injuries that are caused by damage done to tissues and the spinal cord. The self-assembly process in the molecules makes it possible to fix and control the properties, which is a major advantage to finding the constituents to make up regenerative medicine. In regenerative medicine, the replica utilized must have the pivotal properties that the original had, such as brain tissue. By being able to fix and wire these properties, it will make it much easier to form regenerative medicine. Although 3D printing is offered as an option to create therapies and processes, it’s important to realize that it’s much more necessary to remember the disadvantages such as the disruption it will cause in biological interactions and the intracellular processes in the molecules. Although 3D printing will be considered, it is most likely to be rejected due to the detrimental effects it would have.
This would not be very helpful in injuries related to the heart or for cartilage. Cartilage and heart related injuries cannot be fixed with regenerative medicine yet but for brain tissue injuries and the spinal cord, there will definitely be some advancement. The issue, however, is that the human brain constantly changes, adapts, and grows. This makes it difficult for medicine to keep up with the needs of those who face severe brain trauma and also makes it more challenging for those who suffer from great damage to their tissues. For instance, utilizing treatments will only help to treat it such as therapies. However, the aim is to attack the source of all the pain and damage and fix it using regenerative medicine. In order to fulfill this and continue with this, the use of neurons and some sort of other biomaterial is heavily needed to do this. Otherwise, it would be a major issue due to several reasons. For one, the lack of biomaterial will make it difficult to indicate the source of the pain and damage. Two, the idea of only using neurons will only be useful for brain-related injuries. Regenerative medicine is hoped to be able to fix other types of injuries as well.
Various scientists insisted on the idea of utilizing lentiviral vectors, which would involve inputting a virus into the body to help insert different genetic material. Although this seems like a plausible proposal, it is dangerous as there isn’t much control over it. It has been suggested for illnesses such as thalassemia (beta and alpha) where it can control the genes but the brain is full of matter that constantly adapts and changes. One thing in the brain being messed up would be an obstacle due to the fact that it could make someone’s injuries worse, which is not the objective of it. However, the use of lentiviral vectors is more related to genetic engineering, which can possibly be applied to regenerative medicine in terms of principles, but they are still two disparate processes that have different objectives. Lentiviral vectors would involve the utilization of oncoviruses in order to insert material or molecular material. With regenerative medicine, there needs to be control over the structures and over the molecules of the general area that is attempted to be fixed. For instance with damaged brain tissue, the goal is to attack the source of the damage and attempt to repair it. If this is not done, it could be an issue that could escalate further and instead cause additional damage. Instead, the vectors will definitely be rejected out of fear of doing more harm and making mistakes. However, inserting biomaterial will definitely be an imperative step. It is extremely necessary to continue in the study of medicine.
Regenerative medicine hopefully advances further overtime in hopes of being able to cure and repair damages, especially starting with brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. With the help of scientific research and strategies, a cure will be found for more diseases and regenerative medicine can play a pivotal role in our lives.
Sajia Athai, Youth Medical Journal 2021
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