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University of Pittsburgh
ENGR 0012

Katie Thomas, [email protected], 0012, Meyers, 4:00 PM Oluyinka Olutoye, [email protected], 0012, Meyers 10:00 AM EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX: A POWDERED WOUND HEALER Regenerative medicine, a medical practice focused on the regrowth of human tissue is not widely studied or practiced but is one of the most spectacular advancements in medical science [Steinhoff]. One cutting edge technique in the field is the use of extracellular matrices (ECM) to regenerate tissue, a process that has caused a major breakthrough with the possibility to change the whole world of medicine [Steinhoff]. Dr. Stephen Badylak of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine has created a method of producing an ECM powder that involves the extraction and decellularization (removal of cells) of a pig’s bladder so that only the ECM scaffold is left. The powder signals naturally present stem cells in a patient’s body to differentiate and multiply once applied to a wounded area [Rosenwald]. As a result of this breakthrough, victims of cuts and amputations now have the possibility of regenerating their own flesh rather than relying on prosthetics or having to live with burdensome injuries [Cohen]. The makeup of the ECM allows it to be a part of virtually every type of tissue healing process regardless of the degree of damage that has been done to the flesh. With such a wide variety of uses, the ECM has the potential to affect every human being. Not a lot is known about the use of ECM to regenerate tissue since it is a fairly new concept. Full limbs have still not been grown, but current research shows that the ECM has not yet reached its full potential [Rosenwald]. Scientists are working to find out why ECM functions the way it does and how they can manipulate it more toward the regrowth of full limbs. While addressing the ethical concerns and the overall importance of the extracellular matrix, this paper will examine the procedure
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