Regenerative Medicine in China

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Science  27 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6080, pp. 497
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6080.497-c


The field of regenerative medicine has been gaining increasing momentum in the past two decades. As our understanding of the inner workings of stem cells has grown, and as new stem cell types are discovered or created in the laboratory, the ability to regenerate many different tissues—potentially even complex organs—has moved from the realm of science fiction into a solid reality.

This booklet, a special sponsored supplement to Science, describes recent advances achieved in regenerative medicine and stem cell research in China, where scientists are pushing the boundaries of what is possible and achieving impressive results in a clinical setting using pluripotent and multipotent stem cells. The focus is not just on understanding what is possible, but on moving potential therapies rapidly from the laboratory into the clinic in order to treat an array of debilitating ailments, with the singular aim of improving the health and standard of living for patients throughout China.

In the words of Dr. Xiaobing Fu, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and director of the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences at the Chinese PLA General Hospital, "Within the next decade, substantial progress in regenerative medicine in China is expected in the following areas: the use of induced stem cells in the synchronized repair and regeneration of multiple tissue types following injury, reconstitution of large organs through tissue engineering, and the large-scale clinical application of tissue engineering products. These advances will provide hope for the improvement of health care and the creation of a healthier society."