Local Regenerative Medicine Examples in Winston-Salem

5 minute read

3D bioprinted parts from WFIRM

Regenerative medicine companies are transcending the limits of what we previously thought was possible—and some are even doing it in our backyard. The Innovation Quarter has become a growing hub of world-class regenerative medicine visionaries making incredible progress in the field through various clinical applications.

Here’s just a glimpse of the critical work from companies calling the Innovation Quarter home.

Enhancing Wound Care through Transformative Healing

Chronic, hard-to-heal wounds are debilitating, affecting 5.7 million patients1 and costing an estimated $20 billion a year in the US2. Whether it’s due to diabetic ulcers, traumatic injuries or surgical procedures, millions of Americans suffer from wounds that simply won’t get better.

Wound care is an industry that is being transformed by regenerative medicine, with advanced techniques and medical devices that accelerate healing and efficient tissue restoration.

Speeding Up the Healing Cascade Using Allografts from Donated Placentas

MiMedx, an industry leader in wound care, uses patented advanced wound solutions. One of them is EPIFIX, an easy-to-apply allograft that can be used for various purposes, including diabetic foot ulcers and venous leg ulcers, and for patients with complex defects or delayed healing due to multiple diseases or conditions. Safely and ethically derived from placentas from donated C-sections of live births in the US, the product utilizes SMR2T Technology (Selective Membrane of Reparative and Reconstructive Tissue) to facilitate “the healing cascade” process. With three million diabetics across the country struggling with chronic wounds, this device addresses a pervasive need.

Blending Multiple Tissues in Custom Powders for Immediate Bioavailability

RTT Medical utilizes regenerative tissue technology in their XCellistem® Wound Powder, which uses multiple tissue sources blended into a custom powder to facilitate healing and repair, proving effective for even the most severe wounds. This proprietary blend of multiple extracellular matrix (ECM) materials is highly customizable. StemSys technology supports targeted treatment for specific issues, including surgical wounds, trauma wounds, diabetic ulcers, second-degree burns and more. With this exciting product, RTT is reframing the way people traditionally think about wound care treatments.

MIMEDX products developed from regenerative medicine techniques.
rtt gloved hand holding petri dish
An x-ray of a skull with a wound

Images from MiMedx and RTT Medical websites

Tissue Engineering to Create Something Out of Nothing

The possibilities presented by tissue engineering and other methods of manufacturing biomaterials are mind-boggling. Companies in the Innovation Quarter are developing unique solutions using the most advanced techniques.

Improving Viability of Cells by Bioprinting in Microgravity

Scientists and engineers at Axiom space work on a new space suit.
Image from Axiom Space Instagram

Axiom Space is accessing the power of microgravity for medical research. One area of opportunity is 3D bioprinting of reproducible human tissue and whole organs for pharmaceutical drug screening, disease research and regenerative medicine applications. In the absence of gravity, lower-viscosity bioinks can be used to improve the printability and viability of cells needed to fabricate tissue successfully.

Axiom is also exploring protein crystallization, which is supported and enhanced by the microgravity environment in space. Understanding the three-dimensional structure of proteins helps scientists and biopharmaceutical researchers understand disease, identify drug targets and optimize pharmaceutical design for more effective treatments. Protein crystallization can also be applied to the formulation of biologics or protein-based therapeutics like monoclonal antibodies, which are injected or administered through an IV.

Treating Cartilage Defects with Scaffold-free Tissue Engineering Technology

Advanced Technologies for Better Life (ATEMs) uses tissue engineering techniques to manufacture biomedical devices that don’t require scaffolding. Certain medical technologies can manufacture tissue to restore and maintain the function of existing tissue by attaching it to a scaffold (some sort of three-dimensional object) that can grow cells inside the body. However, ATEMs uses scaffold-free tissue engineering technology, which manufactures tissue only with cultured cells and materials made from cells.

ATEMs’ revolutionary products treat cartilage defects, growth plate damage, adhesion between adjacent tissues, and other conditions that benefit from scaffold-free tissue engineering technology.

Protecting Organs to Save Lives

Dried and stained kidney organs

When someone makes the generous decision to serve as an organ donor, the hope is that they can save lives and pay it forward even after they have passed. But the typical window of time that an organ can stay outside the body before being transplanted is limited: depending on the organ, it typically ranges from 4 and 36 hours3. Regenerative medicine scientists are trying to change that.

Preserving Organs for Research and Donation Using Cardiovascular Emulation Technology

BioMedInnovations, LLC (BMI) works with leading American research institutions to develop life-saving medical solutions and build biomedical and biopharmaceutical capacity. One of BMI’s most exciting new developments is RECOVETM, which will address the heart-breaking statistic that 20 families lose a loved one every day because an organ transplant is unavailable. When cleared by the FDA, RECOVETM will be able to transport Donor Organs further distances for more extended periods, increasing the capacity to deliver more life-saving transplant surgeries and creating a realistic alternative to dialysis.

BMI’s CaVESWave® uses Cardiovascular Emulation Technology (CET) to perfuse and preserve an array of organs and tissues to allow for vital gene therapy and advancement of clinical methodologies. That means that machines keep organs warm by continuously pumping blood through them, keeping them viable for ongoing research purposes.

What’s the Potential of Regenerative Medicine?

The Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies estimates that one in three Americans could benefit from regenerative medicine techniques or therapies. That’s why regenerative medicine companies worldwide and in the Innovation Quarter are expeditiously working on translating their ground-breaking research into clinical therapies. Their innovation and collaboration are critical to developing regenerative medicine treatments that can heal or replace tissues and organs damaged by age, disease or trauma in many.

Cover of eBook: Why the Future of Regenerative Medicine is in Winston-Salem

The Future of Regenerative Medicine Is in Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter represents the convergence of ideas, research, resources and expertise. The resulting innovation ecosystem fosters developments in regenerative medicine that are transforming clinical treatments and therapies.