What is Tissue Engineering?

Three elements for realization

Tissue engineering is a concept originally proposed by American researchers in 1993, with the purpose of using living cells to artificially grow tissue and organs which would then be capable of carrying out their normal functions. In order to make tissue engineering a reality, three elements are necessary: living cells, artificially created materials and physiologically active substances, which affect cells and living organisms. This concept is based on the idea that, by combining these elements over a given length of time, in an appropriate environment, it is possible to create tissue and organs with biological functions. In order to carry out the various research projects, a cross-discipline approach involving a research exchange in such fields as medicine, engineering, science, and pharmaceutical science (interdisciplinary research) is crucial. Furthermore, culturing cells was once confined to the realm of pure research, but this new concept of using cultured cells as a practical method of medical treatment for a patient is a revolutionary breakthrough in medical practices. In Japan, tissue engineering has been recognized as a component of the field of regenerative medicine (or a method for realizing regenerative medicine) and it is officially called "Tissue Engineering". Tissue engineering is a new technique that will make regenerative medicine a reality and our name "J-TEC" reflects our determination to firmly establish the field of tissue engineering in Japan.