Professor Saltzman motivates the need for tissue engineering, and describes the basic elements of the tissue engineering approach. Professor Saltzman defines three different types of tissue transplants: autografts, allografts, and xenografts. An online resource for organ donors/recipients is presented, which stresses the great need for donors, and the important contribution of tissue engineering in producing/growing organs that can be used for this purpose. Next, Professor Saltzman compared drug and gene therapy, and discusses the use of stem cell in tissue engineering for wound healing. The need for compatible biomaterials to support growth and differentiation of stem cells into functional organ is also highlighted.
The course covers basic concepts of biomedical engineering and their connection with the spectrum of human activity. It serves as an introduction to the fundamental science and engineering on which biomedical engineering is based. Case studies of drugs and medical products illustrate the product development-product testing cycle, patent protection, and FDA approval. It is designed for science and non-science majors.