Introduction: History of regenerative medicine

Stephen F. Badylak*, Alan J. Russell, Matteo Santin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

4 Scopus citations


The majority of species on earth have the ability to regenerate body parts. Higher order mammals, including humans, have lost the ability to re-grow limbs and vital organs and have replaced tissue regeneration with the processes of inflammation and scar tissue formation (Metcalfe & Ferguson 2007). The human body does have the inherent ability, however, to regenerate selected cell populations and tissues on a routine basis: bone marrow, the liver, the epidermis, and the cells that constitute the intestinal lining among others. The dramatic idea that through medicine we may be able to minimize scar tissue formation and extend this regenerative capacity to all body parts has been an elusive dream since the times of Greek mythology when Prometheus was sentenced to eternal suffering as a bird ate his liver for eternity while the liver regenerated. It is fascinating to consider that even the Greeks seemed to predict the regenerative capacity of the liver.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategies in Regenerative Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrating Biology with Materials Design
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780387746593
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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