Advances in regenerative engineering offer the hope of bringing new techniques into routine clinical use. Already, artificial skin developed for burn patients is widely used. New techniques to foster bone growth are on the market. And more significant opportunities are emerging, some already in clinical trials. These new approaches define convergence: they require sophisticated new materials compatible with the human body to provide a lattice for new tissue to grow on; the use of adult stem cells derived from the patient to generate new tissue that won’t be rejected; advanced developmental biology to stimulate cell and tissue growth; carefully engineered bio-reactors to provide nutrients and controlled growing conditions; and even genetic approaches to turn on or off specific genes. Recent innovations illustrate the potential for such convergent approaches

The Regenerative Engineering: Prime Example of Convergence

  • This report, which builds upon findings from previous reports, will form the beginning of a multifaceted research strategy and highlight the many innovative opportunities made possible by Convergence. The report was drawn from a series of meetings with colleagues from across the country and from diverse stakeholders from academia, government, industry, and philanthropy. Convergence: The Future of Health

  • The National Research Council has appointed a committee to investigate examples of organizations that have established mechanisms to support convergent research. By convening a workshop that gathers leaders from these organizations and programs along with additional academic and industry leaders, scientists, and foundations and agencies interested in advancing the implementation of convergence, the committee will explore details of the programs created and what has worked and not worked in varied settings. The committee’s report will summarize the lessons learned and provide organizations with strategies to tackle practical needs and implementation challenges in areas such as infrastructure, student education and training, faculty development, and interinstitutional partnerships. Workshop on Key Challenges in the Implementation of Convergence