The editors of Tissue Engineering asked 24 leaders in the field what critical steps are needed for tissue engineering to achieve broad critical success by the year 2021 and published their findings in the December 2007 issue (Volume 13, Number 12). Tissue Engineering is a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The paper is available free online.
A survey of the journal's editorial board - comprising leaders in the field of tissue engineering from around the globe - yielded a clear picture of the key scientific areas in which researchers need to focus their efforts. Authors Peter Johnson, MD, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Tissue Engineering and President and CEO of Scintellix, LLC, as well as Co-Editor-in-Chief Antonios Mikos, PhD, from Rice University in Houston, TX, John Fisher, PhD, from the University of Maryland, College Park, and John Jansen, DDS, PhD, from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands, present a consensus opinion of these critical paths for development and discuss their implications for the field in a report entitled, 'Strategic Directions in Tissue Engineering.'
These findings can help scientists in academia and industry, teachers, and funding agencies plan for the future, design research projects and training programs, and set a course to enable the field of tissue engineering to reach its goals and potential for success in clinical medicine.
'Our worldwide editorial board was very helpful in sharing critical opinions regarding the future of tissue engineering. We hope that this offering will prove to be useful to all participants in the field' says Dr Johnson.
Leading the list of strategic initiatives is 'angiogenic control,' which defines the ability to provide engineered tissues with an adequate blood supply to nourish their development and survival. Next on the list is 'stem cell science,' which encompasses an understanding of stem cell behaviour and how to control their growth, development, and function. Also included among the leading strategic goals identified in the survey is 'molecular/systems biology,' which describes the importance of integrating knowledge about tissues at the cellular and molecular level with a broader view of how they affect and are affected by the organism as a whole.