Thailand 1997 Impression – BANGKOK POST – Article 4 of 5
Summary: this series of 5 articles are from the copy of the Bangkok Post I’ve held on to for 20 years. The morning of Sunday 15 June, 1997 I boarded a flight at Changi Airport in Singapore to fly to Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport. It was my first trip ever to Thailand. On the plane I was given a copy of that day’s edition of the Bangkok Post. I’ve saved a memorable section of that paper for these past 20 years.
This fourth (of 5) articles is another of the stories featured that day in the paper. It is an accompany article, to the main topic of discussion, that briefly outlines the science of tissue replacement in development 20 years ago.
His company’s artificial skin, “Integra”, has already helped hundreds of severely burned people recover with fewer scars and complications than traditional skin grafts.
Now George W. McKinney III has his sights on bigger challenges — reconstructive and cosmetic surgery for old wounds, nerve regeneration and even technology to make the body grow new organs.
“We’re talking about using the body as the manufacturing facility” for damaged or failing parts, said McKinney. “It isn’t the bionic man. It isn’t a replacement part. It’s your own part.”
Through tissue engineering — manipulating patients’ own cells to make tissues and organs that don’t normally regrow the way they originally did — they’re developing methods for replacing and repairing heart valves, ears, the liver, the gastrointestinal tract, cartilage, blood vessels, bone marrow and more.
Advanced Tissue Sciences founder Gail Naughton is hoping for FDA approval by fall for the company’s permanent skin replacement for diabetic ulcers, deep wounds that can take more than a year to heal and cause some 55,000 limb amputations annually.
The California Company also is working on growing cartilage, which the body can’t regenerate, and blood vessels. And it has successfully transplanted into animals livers and parts of the gastrointestinal system grown from cells, Naughton said.
“We firmly believe that we’ll be able to grow every tissue and organ that might be needed for transplantation,” she said. – AP