Bespoke spare parts

March 8, 2002

THES reporters look at global developments in stem-cell research and legislation.

The promise of bespoke spare parts made from your own cells will require major advances in tissue engineering. The Lords' inquiry focused on the derivation of embryonic stem cells and the use of nuclear replacement or cloning techniques so that replacement tissue could be grown. But without tissue engineering, the resulting therapies could be limited to implants to tackle degenerative diseases. Liverpool University and Imperial College are looking at how the specialised cells could be grown with some form of artificial scaffolding to enable them to develop into whole organs.

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