Regenerative medicine in China: when myth meets reality

Burns & Trauma has recently started a thematic series titled ‘Trauma regeneration' introducing the latest developments of regenerative medicine in research in China and other countries. One article in particular looks at the demands, capacity and regulation of regenerative medicine in China and co-author Biao Cheng explains more.

What is regenerative medicine?

Natural healing indicates the inherent repair exerted by self-renewal and differentiation of the tissue, especially effective in tissue or organs with a high endogenous reparative and regenerative ability.

However, due to limitation of self-renew and de novo cell biogenesis in some organs or severe injured tissues, defective or scarred healing usually takes place. Regenerative medicine paves a way for restoring organ function and delays disease progression.

This is through replacing or regenerating cells, tissues and even organs by stem cell technology and tissue engineering regardless of the impairment in terminal differentiated organs or impairment caused by congenital disorder, acquired disease, trauma and aging.

Therefore, regenerative medicine is at the frontiers all over the world in the 21st century and is thought to hold the key to solutions for many incurable diseases.

Regeneration medicine in China

Regenerative Med - Blog image 2In the past 20 years, regeneration medicine (RM) in China has continued to grow with emerging research findings in stem cells, tissue engineering, active molecules and gene therapy.

Moreover, China’s main and local governments have attached great importance to RM and given strong support in relevant policies and funding.

Furthermore, since 1999, China has established about 30 RM centers and cooperates with many advanced countries in regenerative medicine research and benefits from their cooperation.

However, standards, regulations and management practice suitable for the healthy development of regenerative medicine need to be developed. For this reason, there’s a pressing need to construct a viable framework for rollout of a regenerative medicine network in China.

Regenerative Med2 Blog image 3Translating the regenerative medicine principles into practice and establishing clinical standardized and scaled-up regenerative products as well as recruiting health care experts are all required to achieve a valuable outcome beyond current regenerative medicine in China. This could lead to a new era in health care in China!

In the ancient Chinese fairy tale, Nezha was fatally injured and then reborn by magic with a human body constructed by the lotus root. In the future, it may be possible to rebuild an injured body by regenerative medicine, turning myth into reality.

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