Tissue engineering is rapidly moving medicine from its current concentration on external-focused treatments (surgical advancements, medical devices, drugs) to a more internal focus based on harnessing the body’s own ability to regenerate tissues. To date, most of the research in this area remains in the development phase, with some exciting possibilities for future treatments in otolaryngology. Active bench and animal studies include looking at developing tissue-engineered tracheas, cartilage for the ear and nose, carniomaxillofacial bones, and tissue-engineered products for vocal fold scarring. Success will depend on collaboration among clinical scientists, biologists, and biomedical engineers, as well as investment from industry and government agencies to bring these new therapies to patients.
©2007 The Triological Society