London: British scientists are on trackto soon manufacture body tissue -- new skin, blood and evenbones, a groundbreaking development which will benefit peoplesuffering from damaged eyes, broken bones or scarred skin. A team, led by team leader Robert Brown at UniversityCollege London, has already pioneered a cutting-edge, simple,technique that will enable doctors to make customised humantissue, such as corneas, skin, nerve implants and cartilage,within minutes for patients.
According to them, the ability to develop made-to-measure layers of tissue or "spare parts" for a particularperson will revolutionise reconstructive surgery as it couldsimplify imperfect, expensive and invasive operations such ascorneal transplants, skin grafts and total knee replacements.The ability to generate all kinds of human tissue,including diseased tissue such as tumours, would be used totest new drugs and eradicate the need for many of the animalexperiments employed in early drug trials. The scientists have already made skin-and ligament-equivalent tissue using a prototype machine, but a machinefor widespread use in operating theatres is being developedby the Automation Partnership, based in Cambridge. This will be ready in six months and available forclinical trials within a year, according to the company`sChief Executive David Newble. Doctors in operating theatres will eventually beable to programme the "tissue machine" -- which will be smallenough to sit on a workbench – to produce "spare parts" withinminutes.PTI
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