onsidering the high prevalence of severe organ failures due to the cancer, congenital anomaly, or trauma, and the consequent needs for tissue transplantation, deficiencies in tissues and organs are a huge challenge for regenerative medicine at the moment. More than 40 years have passed since the term ‘tissue engineering’ was created as a new therapeutic means, which may overcome the drawbacks involved in the current artificial tissue or organ transplantation. Nevertheless, application of regenerated tissues is still restricted mainly owing to the cost, poor biocompatibility, low bio-functionality, as well as immune rejection. Researchers have come a long way to make safer neotissues from cells with the support of new biomaterials, recombinant proteins, and the lower dose of growth factors for medical research or even clinical trials, but some critical problems should still be resolved for the use in human patients. Thus, these issues have lead to the emergence of a new concept that focuses on looking for an alternative approach to reconstruct tissue and organ using natural, safer and cost effective methods.
A major challenge in tissue engineering and cell culture is the use of serum, animal (Xeno) products, and recombinant proteins in the media or extracellular matrix, which are rather expensive, ethically questioned or problematic for researchers to study the mechanisms of a specific biological cascade. Attempts to imitate physiology of the human organs in the laboratory are getting closer to capturing their intricacies, which is needed for clinical applications. Therefore, to try to tackle the aforementioned problems, it is desirable to exploit natural compounds instead of synthetic materials as an alternative way to assemble functional constructs that restore, maintain, or improve damaged tissues or even whole organs.
Natural products, including plant derivatives and marine compounds, have widely demonstrated their worth as a cost-effective source of molecules and functional bio-composites with therapeutic potentials over thousands of years. In recent years, rapid advances in nanotechnology in addition to the extraction of the newly discovered natural small molecules opened an arena to produce functional human organs in sufficient structure and size at low cost for clinical applications.