Tissue engineering and its potential use in surgery
The loss or failure of an organ or tissue is one of the most frequent, devastating, and costly problems in healthcare. Current treatment modalities include transplantation of organs, surgical reconstruction, use of mechanical devices, or supplementation of metabolic products. A new field, tissue engineering, applies the principles and methods of engineering, material science, and cell and molecular biology toward the development of viable substitutes, which restore, maintain, or improve the function of human tissues. In this special issue, we outline the opportunities and challenges of this emerging interdisciplinary field and its attempts to provide solutions to tissue creation and repair in different fields of surgery.