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Cartilage Tissue Engineering

Cartilage tissue engineering is a medical procedure that treats damaged or misaligned cartilage tissues in the body. This procedure uses cartilage tissues from two main sources:
• Donors
• Cadaver donors
The re-engineering of cartilage tissue aims to ensure that replaced cartilage grows into existing cartilage to correct various bodily disorders and injuries.

Cartilage tissue engineering combines cellular biology, material manufacturing and engineering to create artificial cartilage tissues that can replace or repair human tissue. This type of engineering is an offshoot of regenerative medicine that deals with using stem cells to make tissue materials. Individuals in need of cartilage may benefit from this medical procedure.

Medical Procedures that can benefit from Cartilage Tissue Engineering

The main objective of this process is to correct a medical condition known as deviated septum. The septum is a cartilage or piece of bone that separates the patient’s nostrils. There are times when the septum can become misaligned, which lead to breathing difficulties and frequent infections. Septoplasty is the process that corrects the problems associated with a deviated septum.

This is another nasal procedure performed on patients with nasal obstructions that cannot be treated through medication. Rhinoplasty involves removing the cartilage from the deviated part of the septum and inserting it into nostril passages to widen them and make it easy for the patient to breath.

Cartilage tissue engineering may be undertaken on patients to correct problems with cartilage tissues in the inner ear. This procedure is used to treat malfunctioned or misaligned Eustacean tubes.

Cartilage tissue engineering can be helpful in treating knee arthritis. The effectiveness of this procedure in treating knee arthritis is accomplished by ensuring proper depth of the cartilage graft.

Cell Types
The Individual cells are the starting points in cartilage tissue engineering. The main idea behind cartilage tissue engineering is to engineer cells that can continue growing or replicating into cell lines so that they can form entire tissues. The engineering process uses different types of cells including autologous cells, allogenic cells and stem cells. Autologous cells are taken from the person giving the implant; allogenic cells are obtained from donors, while stem cells are obtained from implant recipients or donors.

Future Use
Many medical professionals believe the number of cartilage tissue engineering procedures, especially in the ears and nose has continued to rise. Cartilage tissue engineering is a developing medical field. Medical experts agree that additional research should be undertaken on cell line production, biological system processes and growth factor influences. Despite the challenges, cartilage tissue engineers are researching ways of obtaining biocompatible cell materials from plants and animals.

Resources and references on Medical Engineering

Wikipedia article and background

Articles from Imeche,org