Breast surgery patients may be able to regrow their breast tissue following a mastectomy, if research being conducted in Australia is successful.
Scientists at the Bernard O'Brien Institute of Microsurgery are investigating the possibility for stem cells to be used in order to trigger the regeneration of mammary tissue removed during treatment for breast cancer.
The process works by making the body begin generating fatty tissue within the breast, but the researchers have yet to devise a container in which this tissue can grow.
Dr Phillip Marzella of the institute says: "What we are hoping to do in the next two years is develop a biodegradable chamber so that the fat can grow inside the chamber and then the chamber will vanish naturally."
The Bernard O'Brien Institute lists tissue engineering as its "mainstay of research", with intended applications for patients recovering from cancer and for cytoprotection from ischemia and stroke.
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