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Gene therapy technologies offers a prospect for preventive medicine; before the trait can harm the recipient, genetically engineered transgenes will either alter the genetic disorder beforehand, or allow for regeneration of the tissue. The basic goal in bone formation and regeneration is to find a quick, easy, and cost-effective method to help bone growth, formation, and regeneration where surgery may be impossible or too risky. Gene therapy provides that, whether as a technology or product. Cells have the ability to be engineered, or manipulated, within the recipient’s body, or by removal and reimplantation. While treatments such as surgery are available, sometimes it is extremely difficult for those methods to reach certain areas of the body. Not only that, preventive medicine has advanced to the stage where genetic bone disorders can be eliminated before it is passed down to offspring. By comparing scholarly sources regarding the different in vivo and ex vivo methods, researchers have shown how bone formation and regeneration can be done easily through gene therapy. Between the two methods, both viral and non-viral methods have been tested. Results show that in vivo methods have many safety implications, however, it is the less expensive method. Regardless, ex vivo has been tested and could be taken to clinical trial level, unlike the others that have yet to be taken beyond pre-clinical trail and animal testing. Currently, legislation only supports the use of gene therapy on somatic cells, but in the long run, gene therapy could solve the problem of chronic hereditary genetic disorders if the alterations could be made in gamete cells. Not only that, but there has been no final definition of gene therapy, and therefore there is no stopping someone from altering an unlikeable physical trait in comparison to an actual physical challenge. The only thing stopping gene therapy and therapeutic products from hitting the market is the red light on clinical trials. Several methods have yet to pass the pre-clinical trial stage, and be tested on large animal models. Until then, there will not be an actual advancement to the human stages of clinical trials, helping no one, let alone the role in preventive medicine advancement.

Publication Date


Subject Major(s)

Biomedical Engineering, Biology, Healthcare Administration and Ethics

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Faye Prichard


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Is Part Of

VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


© The Author(s)

Gene Therapy Evolution: How Gene Therapy has Evolved Preventive Medicine