About Regenerative Medicine

New approaches to healing

Regenerative medicine is focused on developing and applying new treatments to heal tissues and organs and restore function lost due to aging, disease, damage or defects.

The human body has the natural ability to heal itself in many ways. A cut to the skin repairs itself, broken bones mend and a living-donor's liver regenerates in a few weeks. Imagine if scientists could capture this naturally occurring ability to heal and apply it to a wide range of conditions.

Heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoarthritis are examples of chronic conditions that are long lasting and do not resolve on their own. In many cases, symptoms can be managed with medication or medical devices.

Regenerative medicine goes beyond disease management to search for and discover therapies that support the body in repairing, regenerating and restoring itself to a state of well-being.

From prenatal surgical interventions to treatments for lifelong degenerative and disabling conditions, regenerative medicine therapies prompt the body to enact a self-healing response. These advancements in patient care across a wide range of medical specialties point to new solutions to expand and maintain optimal health and quality of life.

Review the Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics' glossary of regenerative medicine terms.

Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D.: Regenerative medicine addresses unmet patient needs

Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D.

Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics, Mayo Clinic

Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D.: Regenerative medicine is an exciting component of modern health care. It harnesses breakthroughs in technologies to address major unmet needs of the population, both nationally but also globally. With the successes of traditional medicine, we'll live longer. And aging has been viewed as a major triumph of humanity. At the same time, unfortunately, with aging, we are facing with a growing pandemic of so-called chronic diseases — diseases that live with us throughout our lifespan, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and so on.

So regenerative medicine comes with this new ability to understand how our body can heal and to harness its innate ability, that self-ability to heal, to actually provide new solutions to these patients in need. So the Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics at Mayo Clinic has been built to address the unmet needs of patients. It builds on our new knowledge, bringing new ways to promote the self-repair ability of our body.

There have been magic moments during these few decades that we have built the regenerative medicine field. One such moment was when we saw, for the first time, how out of a stem cell, we can create new beating heart tissue. It was a revolution for us.

We would like to bring now this knowledge that may have started in one field to build it across fields as the new science allows, essentially, for learning between fields. We need true, radical innovation to move the current knowledge into new solutions. That is where regenerative medicine has a unique role. It changes the way we treat patients.