Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Regenerative Medicine Breakthrough: Incredible Hydrogels Repair Wounds

Regenerative Medicine Breakthrough: Incredible Hydrogels Repair Wounds

Regenerative medicine explores how science repairs the body. As diseases and illnesses ravage a human body, conventional treatments and traditional medicines will be administered. However, regenerative medicine could be another option towards recovery.

Jaya Mckeown
Last updated: Dec 17, 2021 | Dec 13, 2021

Table of Contents

The word “regenerate” is synonymous with “renew,” “restore,” and “revive.” So, when we speak of regenerative medicine, though it may be the first time you encounter this term, you may begin thinking about how science repairs the body.

Diseases and illnesses –cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, to name a few – cause damage to organs, tissues, and cells.

Unfortunately, conventional treatments and traditional medicines sometimes fail to prevent, stop, or fix the damage.

Fortunately, there’s regenerative medicine to the rescue.

In fact, a recent breakthrough in regenerative medicine has brought additional medical options to people with damaged hearts or vocal cords.

Video will be loading soon. Please wait...

Regenerative Medicine Breakthrough

scientists discussing lab work

When defining regenerative medicine, biochemical engineer Peter Dunnill (1938-2009) and cardiac surgeon Chris Mason referred to the one given in a study published in 2006 by PLoS Medicine as “probably most suitable as a starting point.”

According to that study, regenerative medicine focuses “on the repair, replacement, or regeneration of cells, tissues, or organs to restore impaired functions.” It cited “congenital defects, disease, and trauma” as some of the reasons why cells, tissues, and organs get damaged.

Moreover, according to the authors, regenerative medicine is anything but traditional as it uses a mix of “technological approaches,” which include advanced cell therapy, stem cells, and tissue engineering.

When Dunnill and Mason gave their own definition for an editorial titled “A Brief Definition of Regenerative Medicine” for the January 2008 issue of Regenerative Medicine, they came up with this:

“‘Regenerative medicine replaces or regenerates human cells, tissue, or organs, to restore or establish normal function.’”

In that editorial, first published online by Future Medicine in December 2007, Dunnill and Mason admitted that they “deliberately not included ‘repair’” in their own definition. They believed the term “‘repair’” didn’t quite fit in when it comes to the basic goal of regenerative medicine, which is “to return the patient to full health.”

For them, the term “falls . . . within earlier technologies.”

A recent regenerative medicine breakthrough challenges that 13-year-old opinion.

Scientists developed a biomaterial meant to repair wounds, particularly in damaged hearts and vocal cords, according to McGill.

Wikipedia defines “biomaterial” as “a substance that has been engineered to interact with biological systems [e.g., the nervous system, the respiratory system] for a medical purpose.”

Advanced Science published the study in November 2021.

In an interview with McGill, Guangyu Bao, one of the eight authors of the study, said that “there was no injectable material strong enough” for damaged hearts and vocal cords. Their constant movement – the heart beats non-stop and people always talk – makes their “healing . . . challenging.”

Bao, a Ph.D. candidate at McGill University in Canada, and his colleagues developed an “injectable hydrogel” – the injectable biomaterial mentioned earlier – “for wound repair.”

Their injectable hydrogels have a structure that permits “live cells to grow or pass through” it “to repair the injured organs.”

When put to test, the newly developed injectable hydrogels were tough enough to withstand the constant movements of the vocal cords.

In addition, the scientists said that this regenerative medicine breakthrough will aid in further studies in “tissue engineering and the creation of model tissues for drug screening.”

Furthermore, according to McGill, they’re thinking of creating an artificial lung using “hydrogel technology” to assess the efficacy of COVID-19 drugs.

COVID-19 vaccine

What Is An Example Of Regenerative Medicine?

stem cells

The human body can heal itself but not all the time, according to online health resource WebMD.

It can heal a simple cut or bruise on its own but not when the body’s insulin levels go up beyond the acceptable range or when a tumor appears and starts growing.

Scientists and doctors use regenerative medicine to deal with some forms of cancer and diabetes (Type 1); to repair damaged tissues caused by brain injury; to improve the immune system; and to conduct organ transplants, just to name a few, according to WebMD.

The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Pennsylvania names cell/cellular therapies (e.g., the use of stem cells) and artificial organs and medical devices (e.g., ventricular assist devices or VADs used in heart transplant) as two areas of concentration.

Cell therapies are used for Alzheimer's Disease, cirrhosis (a liver disease), kidney failure, spinal cord injury, osteoarthritis, and Parkinson's Disease, among others, according to research website LifeMap Discovery.

The Maryland-based Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies said that modern treatment of Type 1 diabetes includes the use of cord blood stem cells.

By the way, aside from cord blood, aka umbilical cord blood, other sources of adult stem cells, as identified by WebMD, are blood, bone marrow, dental pulp, fat, and skeletal muscle.

For sports-related injuries, according to Veritas Health, the following types of regenerative medicine treatments are used: platelet rich plasma (PRP), prolotherapy (or proliferation therapy), stem cell treatment, and cartilage (a connective tissue) regeneration surgery.

Is Regenerative Medicine FDA Approved?

StemExpress blood donor

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on its website that it regulates stem cell products.

In the U.S., FDA only approves the use of blood-forming stem cells or hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from cord blood “for use in patients with disorders that affect the production of blood.”

As for other uses, FDA doesn’t give its approval.

The FDA approved the following cellular and gene therapy products:















For HPC (hematopoietic progenitor cells), Cord Blood, the following are FDA-approved: ALLOCORD, CLEVECORD, HEMACORD, and Ducord.

In addition, FDA approved HPC, Cord Blood from the following:

a. Bloodworks (Seattle, Washington)

b. Clinimmune Labs (University of Colorado Cord Blood Bank)

c. MD Anderson Cord Blood Bank (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center)

d. LifeSouth Community Blood Centers (Gainesville, Florida)

As of July 22, 2020, FDA has not approved any exosome products.

FDA doesn’t also approve the use of these regenerative medicine products (the ones indicated below)...

a. exosome products

b. stem cell products

c. amniotic fluid

d. human umbilical cord blood

e. stromal vascular fraction

f. Wharton’s Jelly treat the following:

a. autism

b. blindness

c. chronic pain

d. COVID-19

e. orthopedic condition (e.g., back pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, knee pain)

f. neurological disorder (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, stroke)

g. cardiovascular or lung diseases (e.g., emphysema, heart disease)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that stem cell treatments not approved by FDA can cause infections and can lead to tumor growth.

The Verge reported that some people who received non-FDA-approved stem cell treatments/drugs became blind while others experienced bacterial infections and kidney failure.

Tissue Engineering And Regenerative Medicine

surgical operation

A study published by Frontiers in March 2020 described tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM) as “a multidisciplinary science.”

Canada Research Chair in Biomaterials and Musculoskeletal Health Jianyu Li told McGill that when he and his team were able to develop the injectable hydrogels discussed earlier through the “synergy of materials science, mechanical engineering, and bioengineering.”

Aside from these fields of studies mentioned by Li, the Frontiers-published study also named biomechanics (the study of biological systems,” according to Britannica) and cell biology as part of TERM.

Though they work side by side, the authors of the said study differentiated the two.

Tissue engineering “combines cells, scaffolds [engineered materials used for medical purposes, per Wikipedia] and growth factors to regenerate tissues or replace damaged or diseased tissues.”

Regenerative medicine uses strategies (e.g., gene therapy and cellular therapy) along with tissue engineering “to induce in vivo tissue/organ regeneration.”

The Latin term “in vivo” means “within the living,” and when used in medical context, it means that a researcher performs a procedure (e.g., an experiment, a test) “in or on a whole living organism” (e.g., a human being, a lab mouse, a plant), according to Medical News Today.

Two examples of engineered tissues, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), are artificial cartilage and artificial skin, and the FDA approved of their use. Nonetheless, NIH said that their function is still limited when used to treat people.

In a Reuters report, as referenced by England-based biotech company Celixir, tissue engineering was a $7 billion-industry back in 2016.

By 2023, projected figures could reach $17 billion.


Accidents, illnesses, diseases, and injuries are part of life – and so do science, and regenerative medicine is only but a section of science that gives hope to seemingly hopeless medical cases.

The injective hydrogel hopefully would be able to achieve its purpose.

Stories of people’s battle against debilitating diseases – against the Big C, for one – are everywhere. One good news is that science never gives up, and one proof is regenerative medicine.

Jaya Mckeown | Jaya moved to Boston from New York to pursue a master's degree in corporate communications at Emerson College. This experience, combined with her undergraduate degree in psychology and teaching, has equipped her with valuable skills that she employs on a daily basis in real estate negotiations, homebuyer and seller education, and successful promotion of the team's listings. Jaya's clients often characterize her as meticulous, proactive, and enjoyable to be around.


Extraterrestrial Life: No Human-like Aliens (Yet), But Alien Microbes, Yes

Is there life in other planets? One way to find out is through space exploration. That has been done several times. What have we found out all these decades?

The Beautiful And Renowned Costa Rican Actress Maribel Guardia

Her real name is Maribel del Roco Fernández-Garca, a Costa Rican-Mexican film actress, singer, television presenter, model, television actor and theater actress. She was born on May 29, 1959.

Who’s Satoshi Nakamoto? Search For The Real Identity Of Bitcoin Creator Persists

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? Is he really the inventor of – or one of the key people behind – the cryptocurrency Bitcoin? If not, then who is the true Bitcoin creator?

What You Need To Know About China's Map Issues And Information Restrictions 2021

For the first time in six years, Apple's iPhone became the best-selling smartphone in China, the company's second-largest market after the United States. But much of Apple's success can be attributed to CEO Tim Cook, who lay the groundwork years ago by secretly signing a $275 billion pact with Chinese officials guaranteeing Apple will help improve China's economy and technical strength through investments, commercial partnerships, and worker training.

Evolutionary Transition In Plain Words- How Life Forms Started

How can a form of life originate from something that has no life at all? Some major evolutionary transitions provide some explanations not only to this particular question but as well as to other changes of paramount importance.

From Impeccable To Terrible? Google Search Gets Slammed

Through the years, Google has become the all-time favorite search engine. People naturally expect that as it grows, search results get to improve, too. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Kamilla Kowal, A Beautiful Icon In The Television And Modeling

Kamilla Kowal, a Canadian actress, is a stunning young woman. As a result of her roles in several films, her popularity rises, and so does the number of fans she has. In the beginning, she began her career as a model, before signing on to sitcoms and becoming a star. She's getting a lot of attention because of her stellar performance. Besides Letterkenny, she appeared in a number of other popular television shows. Acknowledge your feelings about her by scrolling down this page.

Unveiling The Three Faces Of Cryptocurrency

When it comes to cryptocurrency, one day it might be a bed of roses for you; next morning, you’re in a bed of nails. What’s the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to cryptocurrency?

Ever Heard Of A Crypto Miner In Antivirus Software? Then, Beware!

Norton surprised the public with its latest Norton 360 product that comes with a crypto miner called Norton Crypto. Whether the majority of the public got surprised or not – some got disgusted – should not really the first major concern, according to some experts.

NFTs – The Case Of A Multibillion-Dollar Craze

Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are hot these days, but will the hype lose its steam soon? Or will its popularity continue to attract people with the scorching potential to earn up to millions of dollars?

Not To Be Scrapped- Web Scraping Here To Stay

Information is gold. Mining data online paves way to mining real money in the real world. Companies exhaust all possible legal means to obtain data. Web scraping has been doing that for them and will likely remain doing so in the years to come.

© Copyright 2022 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |

Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.