3rd Edition of International Conference on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
WELCOME ADDRESS FOR TERC 2023
Great Expectations ?!?!
No, not the thirteenth classic novel by Charles Dickens, but our “Great Expectations” ! I remember vividly, as I lived it, the Great Expectations that tissue engineering was to bring to medicine in the 1990s. We all thought that tissue engineering would revolutionize medicine. On the cover of Science and elsewhere were images of every tissue in the body being engineered, grown, and replaced. Gone were the days of waiting for kidney transplants ! Gone were the days of needing heart transplants ! Tissue engineering was to be the panacea for all of our medical problems ! Everyone from academic researchers to entrepreneurs to funding agencies to the media built a lot of hype for tissue engineering – and the falsehoods from today’s social media outlets did not even exist in the 1990s !
Fast forward 30 years. Were our expectations met ? Did we put too much pressure on a largely academic research area to solve all of our health problems ? Did we really think that work from Universities and a few entrepreneurs could really be the solution to centuries of health problems ? Yes, we do have some tissue engineering clinical solutions developed over those years, mostly in skin or tissues that are relatively easy to regrow, but what about those kidneys and the heart ? (In 2023, patients are still waiting for organ transplants for those and many other tissues for which we still have no tissue engineered solutions.) What happened to the “Great Expectations” of tissue engineering ?
Regulatory concerns. Bankrupt tissue engineering start-up companies. Lack of suitable tissue engineering biodegradable materials. Extensive inflammation. Infection. Lack of industry involvement. These are just some of the reasons.
But still, today, tissue engineering has persevered and still holds significant promise in medicine.
So, come, join us and actively discuss these and many other areas of interest to tissue engineering. Learn and tell us where we have been and where we are going 30+ years after the field was first introduced. And give your opinion on what can we learn from the past 30 years of Great Expectations !
I look forward to hearing of your Great Expectations in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine !