IEE proceedings. Nanobiotechnology

Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine: manufacturing challenges.

PMID 16441181


Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine are interdisciplinary fields that apply principles of engineering and life sciences to develop biological substitutes, typically composed of biological and synthetic components, that restore, maintain or improve tissue function. Many tissue engineering technologies are still at a laboratory or pre-commercial scale. The short review paper describes the most significant manufacturing and bio-process challenges inherent in the commercialisation and exploitation of the exciting results emerging from the biological and clinical laboratories exploring tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. A three-generation road map of the industry has been used to structure a view of these challenges and to define where the manufacturing community can contribute to the commercial success of the products from these emerging fields. The first-generation industry is characterised by its demonstrated clinical applications and products in the marketplace, the second is characterised by emerging clinical applications, and the third generation is characterised by aspirational clinical applications. The paper focuses on the cost reduction requirement of the first generation of the industry to allow more market penetration and consequent patient impact. It indicates the technological requirements, for instance the creation of three-dimensional tissue structures, and value chain issues in the second generation of the industry. The third-generation industry challenges lie in fundamental biological and clinical science. The paper sets out a road map of these generations to identify areas for research.