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Regen Med Res. 2013 Dec 2;1(1):7. doi: 10.1186/2050-490X-1-7. eCollection 2013 Dec.

Rejuvenation: an integrated approach to regenerative medicine.

Author information

1
Regenerative Medicine Research Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041 P.R. China ; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292 USA.
2
Regenerative Medicine Research Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041 P.R. China.

Abstract

The word "rejuvenate" found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is (1) to make young or youthful again: give new vigor to, and (2) to restore to an original or new state. Regenerative medicine is the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects. To accomplish this, approaches including transplantation, tissue engineering, cell therapy, and gene therapy are brought into action. These all use exogenously prepared materials to forcefully mend the failed organ. The adaptation of the materials in the host and their integration into the organ are all uncertain. It is a common sense that tissue injury in the younger is easily repaired and the acute injury is healed better and faster. Why does the elder have a diminished capacity of self-repairing, or why does chronic injury cause the loss of the self-repairing capacity? There must be some critical elements that are involved in the repair process, but are suppressed in the elder or under the chronic injury condition. Rejuvenation of the self-repair mechanism would be an ideal solution for functional recovery of the failed organ. To achieve this, it would involve renewal of the injury signaling, reestablishment of the communication and transportation system, recruitment of the materials for repairing, regeneration of the failed organ, and rehabilitation of the renewed organ. It thus would require a comprehensive understanding of developmental biology and a development of new approaches to activate the critical players to rejuvenate the self-repair mechanism in the elder or under chronic injury condition. Efforts focusing on rejuvenation would expect an alternative, if not a better, accomplishment in the regenerative medicine.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Rehabilitation; Rejuvenation; Repair recruitment; Tissue injury signaling

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