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What's the Difference Between Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering?

Posted by Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES on 5 September 2018
What's the Difference Between Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering?

Many people believe regenerative medicine and tissue engineering are just different words for the same thing: replacing dead or damaged tissue with biologically engineered replacements. While the two methods share the same goal, they use fundamentally different means to achieve it.

Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering is a process wherein fibroblasts are extracted from a patient and then used to artificially grow cells and tissues in a lab setting using the principles of the body's own tissue growth.

This is done using "tissue scaffolds" which encourage cells to develop in a certain way, such as influencing them to grow into bio-artificial bone marrow when implanted under a patient's skin. Using tissue engineering, scientists have been able to create a wide variety of artificial organs including bladders, pancreases, livers, and even whole bones.

While the ultimate hope is to use tissue engineering to grow and replace any organ, so far, the science's most widespread success has been in the development of "organoids." Essentially miniature organs, these lab-grown cells are used for disease modeling to see how a patient's specific genetics can cause conditions to develop and how to prevent them.

It's also been a major boon for drug testing, allowing scientists to see how a new medication affects human organs before commencing live human trials.

Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine, which RegenerVate specializes in, is more focused on using stem cell regenerative therapy to kick start the patient's body's healing processes with their own stem cells, rather than utilizing lab-grown replacements and tissue scaffolds.

This natural process is less about replacing non-functioning tissue by growing new cells, and more about stimulating the body to replace them itself using stem cell therapy and stem cell treatments

While the body naturally loses its ability to replicate cells and replace tissue as it ages, the introduction of stem cell regenerative therapy and treatment effectively "turns back the clock" on those repair functions, thus helping the body heal as it did in youth.

Despite its successes treating conditions like arthritis, regenerative medicine is still at its early stages. Eventually, scientists hope to go from merely replacing cells and tissues to replacing entire organs, thereby ensuring anyone who needs an organ transplant can receive one quickly with a virtually non-existent risk of rejection.


RegenerVate's approach to stem cell regenerative therapy uses the latest stem cell treatments to stimulate the body's natural healing processes using a patient's own stem cells. Get in touch with our physicians today learn more about this drug-free approach to healing.

Author: Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES
About: Dr. Stoddard is a sport medicine and injection physician in Toronto and is the Medical Director of RegenerVate. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sport Medicine. His injection training, including ultrasound, PRP and Prolotherapy, was primarily done in the USA. He is a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM), is married and a proud father of two boys. He is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.
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