Regenerative medicine (RM) is one of the most dynamically developing new areas of the modern medical science. RM is distinguished by a multidisciplinary approach. The main focus of this science and technology is cells. The use of bioengineering technologies is actively developing, in particular, biodegradable materials (matrices, microcapsules, etc.). The main idea of RM is to replace or regenerate cells, tissues or organs in order to restore or establish the normal functioning of the body. The highest interest from the scientific and medical communities, investors and governments of different countries in the field of RM research can be explained by the "subversive nature" of these investigations, since they can potentially provide products that will replace many traditional approaches in the treatment and prevention of diseases [Mason C., Dunnill P. A brief definition of regenerative medicine. – 2008].
Together with clinical departments of MONIKI, as well as with external organizations, in 2010-2021 the Laboratory's staff conducted a wide range of research in the field of RM. In particular, as a result of work carried out with the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ITEB, Pushchino) and the Department of Pediatric Surgery of MONIKI, a model of anal incontinence (encopresis) and a method of atopic bone marrow cell transplantation for its correction were created. Methods for vitalization and implantation of biodegradable materials have been developed. The direction of correction of experimental conditions on laboratory animals as a result of tissue transplantation into immunoprivileged areas was actively developed: the anterior chamber of the eye, testicles. Methods for transplantation of pancreatic tissues have been developed to achieve compensation of carbohydrate metabolism in alloxan diabetes mellitus; methods of thymus tissue transplantation, the use of which leads to an increase in the average and maximum life expectancy in intact animals, a decrease in mortality when animals are exposed to a lethal dose, etc. These studies were funded under the grant of the President of the Russian Federation for young scientists and graduate students, under the programme "Innovations and developments” of the Russian Science Academy, programs of the Fund for the Development of Small Forms of Enterprises in the Scientific and Technical Sphere (UMNIK, START). The authors of this work in 2013 were awarded the Prize of the Governor of the Moscow Region in the field of science and innovation for young scientists and specialists. Within the Laboratory, they were asked to create a separate scientific group with the perspective to becoming an independent scientific laboratory in the future.
In 2013-2015, together with Kurchatov's NBIC-center we carried out the study "Investigation of Physical and Chemical Properties and Pharmacokinetics of Bioresorbable Polymers bearing Cells and Drugs" (project No.13-03-00913) supported by the Russian Fund of Basic Researches (RFBR). As a result of the conducted research, it was found that microcapsules may be promising for the use in RM as carriers of growth or differentiation factors. The main disadvantage of all microencapsulation technologies ("nanocontainers") that exist today is that microcapsules (containers) have a very small free volume for containing a pharmaceutical preparation. According to our estimates, today it is less than one hundredth of a percent of the volume of the microcapsules themselves, with the required amount of 5-10%, which greatly narrows the scope of microcapsules and is insufficient for many practical applications (with the required volume of a pharmaceutical preparation, for example, 10 ml, the volume of the encapsulated preparation can reach up to several liters). However, as our biophysicist Oxana Smirnova has showed, exactly for cell growth/differentiation factors such a free volume in microcapsules may be sufficient. In light of this, we have developed non-invasive methods for recording the pharmacokinetics and dynamics of microcapsule resorption in animal tissues based on in vivo fluorescence spectroscopy methods. Capsules of different dimensions, different compositions and with different numbers of shell layers were tested. The possibility of controlled and prolonged release of the drug from these microcapsules during a week due to the use of microcapsules with a different number of shell layers was shown. However, for a large number of layers, the free volume in the solution of microcapsules is critically reduced, even for growth factors, and extensive calcification, edema, and inflammation occur in the tissue around the place of microcapsules' injection. Thus, while the technology is not looks like realistic.