“A woman in her early forties lifts up her shirt and takes off her bra. Across her abdomen a large scar, approximately 32 centimeters, running from hip to hip. Her left breast, that was first removed and then reconstructed, looks like what you may expect four months after surgery. The abdomen fat transplant was successful, but the upper part seems a bit empty. Less filled. This needs to be rectified. As well the other healthy breast needs to be lifted, because there is an imbalance between the two breasts now. We want symmetry as a result. What if… What if this same woman could have walked out of my consultation room this week with a new perfect breast, looking the exact same as her other breast, and no scars at all? “
This paragraph is taken from the welcome note of Prof. Dr. Phillip Blondeel introducing the first Research Report on Tissue Engineering in Reconstructive Surgery.
Prof. Dr. Phillip Blondeel and his team are frontrunners in this field, as they came to understand that the future of tissue reconstruction will no longer be the transplantation of tissues within the same body but rather the construction of autologous body parts in a laboratory environment, outside of the body. This is called tissue engineering. Tissue Engineering will avoid most of the disadvantages of the present reconstructive techniques and will guarantee the use of body-own tissue. It will enable to re-build an exact copy of the part that was removed, in size, in shape and in composition. But then without diseased or damaged cells.
It speaks to our imagination but it is being researched today by this great team of experts, collaborating with other researchers and institutions in the field of cell therapy, gene therapy and tissue engineering. To further facilitate this collaboration, a new platform was created in the womb of the Gent University, called GATE (Ghent Advanced Therapies and Tissue Engineering).
As an organization supporting and funding scientific research, we are extremely proud to be able to financially contribute to this exciting and promising research that will make a difference to many.
If you are interested to learn more about this research or if you would like to fund the research, please do read the report in attachment or visit the Gate website www.gatehealth.be