Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

JUL 2017

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) is the world's most widely read biotech publication. It provides the R&D community with critical information on the tools, technologies, and trends that drive the biotech industry.

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36 | JULY 2017 | | Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News GEN What are the top trends in the field of tissue engineering? Dr. Gomes During the past year, I have identified the following as top advances in our field: • 3D bioprinting • Microfabricated tissue-engineered models for cancer and other diseases • Personalized/precision regenerative medicine approaches • Diagnostic and theranostic tools for monitoring and real-time control of tissue engineering systems • Remote actuation of tissue-engineered constructs. Concerning areas/topics that seems to be more intensely emerging in Portugal/Europe, I would say that there has been a major fo- cus on developing personalized medicines, including tissue engineering. [This encom- passes] the development of patient custom- made scaffolds using 3D-printing technolo- gies. This area, in my opinion, is expected to grow a lot and expand [in the fields of] genetics, pharmacology, and regenerative medicine. Dr. Weiss I suggest the following helicopter-view advances: • Demand for more robust biology as a driver of tissue engineering • Increased emphasis on relevance to clinical outcomes • The use of more natural materials • Less compartmentalization of technology (e.g., a demand that cells function in the context of their environment). Emerging in my part of the world, there is a greater emphasis on innovation in tissue engineering, which means making heroes of researchers who are serial inventors, com- pany founders, and [those who] successfully translate technology [from the benchtop] into the clinic. Dr. Liu I would recommend the following advances in the field during the past year: • Clinical application of engineered tissue or regenerative materials • 3D printing for cell-contained tissue and organs • Intelligent biomaterials for tissue regeneration and stem-cell differentiation • Automatic cell expansion and tissue culture bioreactors • Engineered tissue chips and their applications. Dr. van Osch A predictive computational framework for direct reprogramming Randi Hernandez Common trends are emerging among experts in the field of tissue engineering, and many of the trends rely heavily on the use of 3D-printed tissue scaffolds, especially those that "resemble the spatial and physical features of the biology they seek to repair/replace," according to Anthony Weiss, Ph.D., the Sir Samuel McCaughey Chair in Biochemistry and a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology School of Life and Environmental Science at the University of Sydney. These engineered tissue constructs are now demonstrating improved drug delivery upon transplantation, 1 and contain cells that can communicate better via built-in vasculature systems. 2 Additionally, advances in T-cell engineering have allowed researchers to guide differentiation in T cells from hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). 3 Two recent papers have also highlighted innovation in protein-delivery techniques. 4,5 Martin James Stoddart, Ph.D., principal scientist at the AO Research Institute in Davos, Switzerland, cites several advances: the use of microRNA for diagnosis and therapy, use of CRISPR/Cas9 for in vivo and in vitro editing, and the potential approval of the cell and gene therapy Invossa (tonogenchoncel-L), an investigational agent featuring ex vivo gene delivery via a retroviral transduction. TissueGene, Invossa's manufacturer, touts the drug as the "First Cell-Mediated Gene Therapy for Degenerative Osteoarthritis." 6 GEN editors asked other experts in the field to identify the top trends that are occurring in tissue engineering. The other leaders in the field that GEN spoke to include Manuela E. Gomes, Ph.D., principal investigator of the 3B's Research Group at the University of Minho; Wei Liu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of plastic surgery at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and associate director of the Shanghai Tissue Engineering Center and Shanghai Institute of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in China; and Gerjo van Osch, Ph.D., professor at the Erasmus MC, University Medical Center in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and head of the connective tissue cells and repair group in the department of orthopedics. Top Trends in Tissue Engineering Translational Medicine Roundup

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