Journal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine vol:2 issue:4 pages:236-241
Ex vivo tissue-engineered products are increasingly entered into clinical trials. To allow prospective participants to make a fully informed, autonomous decision on their participation, we have to adapt the informed consent process by taking the specific aspects of tissue engineering into consideration. New elements in ex vivo tissue engineering are the source and manipulation of the cells in the product, the implantation of the product and the additional risks and benefits due to the construction of the product and its activity in the body. They are the result of the delicate nature of some cell types and of the complexity of the tissue engineering process. The process of informing the participant should be designed in such a way that the participant's capacity to understand the intervention and its implications is enhanced. Crucial issues, such as the aim and procedure of the trial, the risks and benefits involved and the role of the investigator, have to be clarified. We suggest that participants' understanding of the trial can be enhanced through the use of audiovisual material, by developing a simple questionnaire to direct the information process further, and by the assistance of informed third parties to help participants in their decision-making processes. Copyright (C) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.