bio - Termis

Dario Fauza, M.D., Ph.D., received MD and PhD degrees from the University of Sao
Paulo, in Brazil. He then moved to the United States, now over 20 years ago, where he
completed his training in different clinical and research postdoctoral fellowships in
pediatric surgery fetal medicine, and regenerative therapies, at Children's Hospital Boston
and Harvard Medical School.
He has an extensive bibliography and is the recipient of a number of awards in the US
and overseas, as well as of a Fellowship by invitation from the Royal College of
Surgeons of England.
He has pioneered the notion of using fetal cells, particularly of amniotic origin, to
engineer a variety of tissues for the treatment of an assortment of structural birth defects
and is now widely recognized for having established fetal tissue engineering as a field
within regenerative medicine.
Presentation Summary:
Tissue engineering of pediatric diaphragmatic tendon, spine, and trachea
The fetus is an ideal tissue-engineering subject, both as donor and host. The unique
characteristics of fetal cells, combined with the developmental and long-term impacts of
implanting tissue constructs into a fetus or neonate, add new perspectives to tissue
engineering, significantly expanding its reach. Perhaps surprisingly, however, it was only
a little over 10 years ago that the concept widely referred to as fetal tissue engineering
was first proposed and proven viable experimentally. This notion involves the
procurement of fetal cells, followed by their processing in the engineering of tissue
constructs in vitro in parallel to the remainder of gestation, so that an infant or a fetus
with a prenatally diagnosed birth defect could benefit from having autologous, expanded
tissue readily available for surgical implantation in the perinatal period. A variety of
prenatally diagnosable birth defects may be amenable to this approach. Considering the
data reported thus far, it is reasonable to speculate that fetal tissue engineering may
become an alternative for the perinatal treatment of a number of congenital anomalies.
Moreover, given the feasibility of minimally invasive fetal cell sources, such as amniotic
fluid, placenta, and umbilical cord blood, the promise of fetal tissue engineering should
apply to both life-threatening and non life-threatening diseases. Different fetal progenitor
cells are progressively becoming relevant, if not indispensable tools in research related to
stem cells, tissue engineering, gene therapy, and maternal-fetal medicine. Still, much
remains to be learned and a variety of evolutionary paths, including unsuspected ones, are
to be pursued in this relatively new branch of regenerative medicine. Fertile experimental
work from an ever increasing number of groups is likely to extend fetal tissue
engineering beyond both the perinatal period and autologous applications, offering
unique therapeutic perspectives for different age groups.