Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
The focus of our group is to engineer therapies for liver regenerative medicine.
Our group was the first to establish the whole liver engineering approach to create grafts that are transplantable and may potentially serve as alternatives to donor livers.
We use donor livers that are not found suitable for transplantation because of poor quality or excessive damage during storage, and remove the cells by a process called perfusion decellularization.
After the removal of the dead cells, the resulting extracellular matrix scaffolding is used to recreate the native liver architecture using fresh and healthy liver cells.
Having established the technology in a small animal model, our current efforts focus on scaling up to human livers, regenerating liver tissue from human induced pluripotent cells and developing techniques that will extend the in vivo viability of the recellularized livers.
We are also working on in vivo decellularization techniques using irreversible electroporation of the liver as an approach to precondition the organ for cell transplantation and stimulation of resident stem cells for regeneration of healthy tissue.
Current research projects include:
- Development of transplantable human liver grafts
- Endothelialization of decellularized rat liver scaffolds
- Decellularized liver matrix as a platform for efficient generation of iPS derived liver cells
- Irreversible electroporation for liver regenerative therapies
- Badylak, Stephen F., Doris Taylor, and Korkut Uygun. "Whole-organ tissue engineering: decellularization and recellularization of three-dimensional matrix scaffolds." Annual review of biomedical engineering 13 (2011): 27-53.
- Gao, Shan, et al. "Ex vivo gene delivery to hepatocytes: techniques, challenges, and underlying mechanisms." Annals of biomedical engineering40.9 (2012): 1851-1861.
- Uygun, Basak E., Martin L. Yarmush, and Korkut Uygun. "Application of whole-organ tissue engineering in hepatology." Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology 9, no. 12 (2012): 738-744.
- Golberg, Alexander, and Martin L. Yarmush. "Nonthermal irreversible electroporation: fundamentals, applications, and challenges." Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on 60.3 (2013): 707-714.
- Uygun, Basak E., and Martin L. Yarmush. "Engineered liver for transplantation." Current opinion in biotechnology 24, no. 5 (2013): 893-899.
- Yarmush, M. L., Golberg, A., Serša, G., Kotnik, T., & Miklavčič, D. (2014). Electroporation-based technologies for medicine: principles, applications, and challenges. Biomedical Engineering, 16(1), 295.
- Golberg, Alexander, Bote G. Bruinsma, Basak E. Uygun, and Martin L. Yarmush.Tissue heterogeneity in structure and conductivity contribute to cell survival during irreversible electroporation ablation by "electric field sinks." Scientific reports 5 (2015).
Research at Mass General
Every day, our clinicians and scientists chart new terrain in biomedical research to treat and prevent human disease and advance patient care.