ASME recently sponsored a briefing on Capitol Hill in partnership with the House Manufacturing Caucus to highlight the challenges facing regenerative medicine. The briefing, titled “Organs on Demand: What’s Stopping Us from Made-to-Order Tissues and Organs,” brought together leaders in the field of regenerative medicine who are working to take this technology to the next level.
The purpose of the briefing, which took place April 10 at the Rayburn House Office Building, was to educate members of Congress and congressional staff on the opportunities that advances in this field have created for the future of modern healthcare, as well as some of the challenges preventing these opportunities from becoming a reality. Cosponsors of the briefing included the United Engineering Foundation, AIChE, AIME, ASCE and IEEE-USA.
Dean Kamen, executive director of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), a Manufacturing USA institute, kicked off the event by delivering the keynote address. He discussed the work ARMI is undertaking, with a particular emphasis on ARMI’s new tissue foundry.
Currently, patients in need of an organ transplant are limited in their options. They must wait for a suitable donor to come from another patient, after which they will spend the rest of their lives taking a cocktail of immunosuppresants to ensure their new organs are not rejected. But in the future, what if it were possible to simply grow a new organ from the patient’s own cells? This is what lies at the heart of ARMI’s tissue foundry.