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Whole Organ Engineering: Approaches, Challenges, and Future Directions

Sohn, Sogu and Buskirk, Maxwell Van and Buckenmeyer, Michael J. and Londono, Ricardo and Faulk, Denver (2020) Whole Organ Engineering: Approaches, Challenges, and Future Directions. Applied Sciences, 10 (12). p. 4277. ISSN 2076-3417

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End-stage organ failure remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality across the globe. The only curative treatment option currently available for patients diagnosed with end-stage organ failure is organ transplantation. However, due to a critical shortage of organs, only a fraction of these patients are able to receive a viable organ transplantation. Those patients fortunate enough to receive a transplant must then be subjected to a lifelong regimen of immunosuppressant drugs. The concept of whole organ engineering offers a promising alternative to organ transplantation that overcomes these limitations. Organ engineering is a discipline that merges developmental biology, anatomy, physiology, and cellular interactions with enabling technologies such as advanced biomaterials and biofabrication to create bioartificial organs that recapitulate native organs in vivo. There have been numerous developments in bioengineering of whole organs over the past two decades. Key technological advancements include (1) methods of whole organ decellularization and recellularization, (2) three-dimensional bioprinting, (3) advanced stem cell technologies, and (4) the ability to genetically modify tissues and cells. These advancements give hope that organ engineering will become a commercial reality in the next decade. In this review article, we describe the foundational principles of whole organ engineering, discuss key technological advances, and provide an overview of current limitations and future directions.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sohn, Sogu
Buskirk, Maxwell Van
Buckenmeyer, Michael J.
Londono, Ricardo
Faulk, Denver
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Date: 22 June 2020
Journal or Publication Title: Applied Sciences
Volume: 10
Number: 12
Publisher: MDPI AG
Page Range: p. 4277
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3390/app10124277
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: whole organ engineering, extracellular matrix, biologic scaffolds, constructive remodeling, tissue remodeling, wound healing
ISSN: 2076-3417
Official URL:
Article Type: Review
Date Deposited: 19 May 2021 18:20
Last Modified: 19 May 2021 18:20


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