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Center for Engineering in Medicine
Recent news and upcoming events from the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Aslihan Gokaltun, a visiting fellow from Hacettepe University (Ankara, Turkey), won the Best Paper Presentation Award at the 19th International Conference on Biomaterials, Microstructure and Macrostructure Conference for her work on “A Facile One Step Modification of Poly(dimethylsiloxane) via Smart Polymers for Biomicrofluidics”.
This work is a collaboration with between Dr. Ayse Asatekin, an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Tufts University, and Dr. O. Berk Usta, an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The work aims to solve common problems of PDMS, a ubiquitously used polymer for microfluidic applications, in a practical and cost efficient manner using smart polymers.
August 22nd, 2016
Daniel Irimia received the 11th "Pioneers of Miniaturization" award from the Chemical and Biological Microsystems Society for his work on neutrophils and microfluidics. Daniel received a certificate and monetary award and gave a short lecture during the µTAS conference in Dublin, Ireland in October (2016).
July 01st, 2016
This award will help to fund his research project entitled: "Scarless Wound Healing And Skin Regeneration By Irreversible Electroporation," which will focus on developing devices to help skin regeneration without hypertropic scarring for burn victims.
This award will help to fund her research project entitled: "Design of pre-vascularized skin grafts with controlled capillary network geometry," which will help creating better skin substitutes to help improve the wound healing outcome.
June 8th, 2016
The Thomas E. Starzl Postdoctoral Fellowship in Transplantation Biology has been established as a mentored award to provide funding for postdoctoral fellows who have a clear commitment to transplantation research. Candidates needed to have completed a maximum of 3 years of postdoctoral research at the time of award, and show impressive merit and potential in their research.
This award will help to fund her research project entitled: A Novel Approach to Improve Organ Viability and Availability before Orthotopic Liver Transplantation.
February 6, 2016
The tagline for the article is "After decades of piecemeal progress, the science of cryogenically storing human organs is warming up."
You can find the article at this link: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21690025-after-decades-piecemeal-progress-science-cryogenically-storing-human
After discussing Dr. Toner's concept for how to freeze an organ, a nice highlight was the sentance "Last year Korkut Uygun of Harvard Medical School, in collaboration with Dr Toner, demonstrated that a combination of cooling and perfusion could preserve a rat liver for four days."
Boston, January 14, 2016
The abstract of her paper on the subject is found below:
Orthotopic liver transplantation is the only definitive treatment for end stage liver failure and the shortage of donor organs severely limits the number of patients receiving transplants. Liver tissue engineering aims to address the donor liver shortage by creating functional tissue constructs to replace a damaged or failing liver. Despite decades of work, various bottoms-up, synthetic biomaterials approaches have failed to produce a functional construct suitable for transplantation. Recently, a new strategy has emerged using whole organ scaffolds as a vehicle for tissue engineering. This technique involves preparation of these organ scaffolds via perfusion decellularization with the resulting scaffold retaining the circulatory network of the native organ. This important phenomenon allows for the construct to be repopulated with cells and to be connected to the blood torrent upon transplantation. This opinion paper presents the current advances and discusses the challenges of creating fully functional transplantable liver grafts with this whole liver engineering approach.
Dr. Usta delivers a critical review of the evolution of in vitro liver technologies at Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 3rd Annual “Screening and Functional Analysis of 3D Models”. More information can be found at:
The brief abstract of this talk is provided below:
The liver performs many key functions such as serving as the metabolic hub of the body. For this reason, the liver is the focal point of many investigations aimed at understanding an organism’s toxicological response to endogenous and exogenous challenges. We will present a survey and critical comparison of in vitro liver technologies along a broad spectrum, but focus on the current renewed push to develop “organs-on-a-chip” in our laboratory and elsewhere.
Dr. Martin Yarmush, the current and founding director of CEM, is an internationally recognized bioengineer and translational scientist whose laboratory has been a pioneer and leader in multiple fields including tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, applied immunology and biotechnology, BioMEMs and nanotechnology, and metabolic engineering and functional genomics.
Martin L. Yarmush's Brooklyn roots imprinted qualities onto him like fighting for the underdog, good instincts and the desire to start new work that is solid and lasts, he said at the BMES Annual Meeting during his Pritzker Distinguished Lecturer talk. The main theme of his talk, which you can watch in the two videos below, was:
"Find something you love and see it through,"
Part 1 - https://youtu.be/FM2YmdbpT-Q
Part 2- https://youtu.be/d3WBfJGi950
The Pritzker Distinguished Lectureship Award is awarded each year to recognize an individual's outstanding achievements and leadership in the science and practice of biomedical engineering. The award recipient is expected to deliver a plenary lecture at the Annual Meeting in the fall and publish the text of the lecture in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering. A very important purpose of the lecture is to critically review a field of biomedical engineering and offer a vision of its future.
The R21 grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIH/NIBIB 1R21EB020192) will support this exciting research at the Center for Engineering in Medicine for the next two years. A brief description of the research is provided below:
Owing to its central role in drug metabolism, the liver is also one of the main targets for the toxic effects of xenobiotics. Accordingly, accurate prediction of toxicity of a variety of compounds using in vitro liver models is a significant step towards reducing animal use for such studies and accordingly reduction in drug development costs. In this project we are building a microfluidic liver model that aims to recapitulate the heterogeneity of liver cells (zonation) across a liver sinusoid; this will result in improved prediction of the effect of pharmaceutical compounds that have zone-specific toxic effects. We will achieve this by integrating several key advances developed in our lab such as a multi-layer microfluidic culture device, actively controlled gradient generator and an ultra-thin collagen coating.
Further information about this funding can be found on the NIH RePORTER using the following link
A listing of upcoming events that the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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