Play our Bio-Regenerator to see how scientists are using Biomaterials to help heal the human body!
For example, a biomaterial used for muscle tissue engineering may need to be soft and elastic, whilst a material used to repair bone needs to tough and porous! Tiny holes in the biomaterial can allow gases, liquids and even cells to move through them! Sometimes, when their work is done, they even need to be able to break down safely within the body, to allow new cells to take over!
A biomaterial is any material that has been specially engineered to interact with a biological system such as the human body. It could be an implantable medical device such as an artificial hip, or it could even be a contact lens!
Here however, we’re talking about biomaterial scaffolds – natural or synthetic materials which can be combined with Stem Cells to create artificial tissues to repair or replace damaged organs. These biomaterials need to have similar characteristics to the organ they are aiming to replace.
So, what’s involved in ‘Growing New Body Parts’? Well, as you may have already learned, Stem Cells have the incredible power to turn into any cell type in the human body. This means that, given the right environment, Stem Cells can be used to repair damaged body parts, and potentially even grow new ones!
But how do we create the right environment? How do the cells know where to grow? And how can we deliver these super-cells into the human body to do their job? Enter BIOMATERIALS!