Explore This Laboratory

About the Lab

The Center for Surgery, Innovation & Bioengineering at Massachusetts General Hospital engages in the basic sciences, clinical medicine and engineering to solve everyday biomedical challenges for patients. Our team of clinically-inspired engineers, physicians and biologists, among others, use creative scientific approaches to improve health care delivery and further the use of personalized medicine, minimally invasive therapies and new technologies for today’s and tomorrow’s diagnostics and treatments.

The center arises from Mass General’s clinical research and is the vehicle to support the expansion of the overlapping expertise of three longstanding and successful research and innovation centers:

The Center for Engineering in Medicine
The center focuses on artificial organ development, biopreservation, metabolic engineering, stem cell bioengineering, microfabrication and nanotechnology, drug delivery and tissue repair

The BioMEMS Resource Center
The center focuses on bridging technological advances in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), biomaterials and biochemical analysis with biological research and clinical diagnostics and treatments

The Mass General Burn Research Center
The center focuses on how to understand the human body’s responses to injury, including the critical role of nutrition in burn care, methods for immediate wound excision and closure in severely injured patients, and the development of artificial skin

Research Projects

Science

The discovery of new biological insights to better understand living systems:

  • Exploring new methods to measure cell movement and the migration of cancer cells during metastasis (the spread of cancer from one organ or part of the body to another not directly connected to it)
  • Investigating new methods to deliver oxygen and nutrients to cellular scaffolds for tissue engineering of artificial liver
  • Using a systematic evaluation to question the effectiveness of mouse models to reproduce diseases for drug discoveries
  • Developing new studies that challenge the current dogma regarding the underlying mechanisms of multi-system organ failure in critically ill patients

Innovation

The process of translating new ideas that provide tangible benefits to patient health care, usually identified by one or more new patents and often by one or more new diagnostic or therapeutic products:

  • Creating a table-top, central laboratory-equivalent blood analyzer capable of performing several common blood tests at once–all from the same small blood sample (about the size of one very large droplet of blood)
  • Developing the first anti-infective drugs for severe, drug-resistant infections by targeting two critical bacterial processes
  • Creating engineered cells as model systems to understand the behavior of cells after they are transplanted, with the goal of improving cell therapy delivery and creating products that are more durable
  • Providing new diagnostics tools that can be used for diseases of importance—including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and typhoid fever—in resource-poor settings around the world

Bioengineering

The use of bioengineering in life sciences to better understand diseases important to humans:

  • Using a microfluidic chip-based device to isolate extremely rare (1 in 10 billion cells) circulating tumor cells from the blood of cancer patients for early detection of metastasis and monitoring of cancer treatment
  • Developing microfluidic channel-based devices to mechanically and chemically capture micro- or nano-particles
  • Investigating whole-organ tissue engineering of bioartificial organs for transplantation
  • Exploring new preservation technologies to ensure survival of living cells and complex tissues stored in a frozen or dehydrated state

Publications

Boneschansker L, Yan J, Wong EA, Briscoe DM, Irimia D. Microfluidic platform for the quantitative analysis of leukocyte migration signatures. Nat Commun. 2014 Sep 3;5:4787. PMCID: PMC4155519

Berendsen TA, Bruinsma BG, Puts CF, Saeidi N, Usta OB, Uygun BE, Izamis ML, Toner M, Yarmush ML, Uygun K. Supercooling enables long-term transplantation survival following 4 days of liver preservation. Nat Med. 2014 Jul; 20(7):790-3. PMCID: PMC4141719

Lim EJ, Ober TJ, Edd JF, Desai SP, Neal D, Bong KW, Doyle PS, McKinley GH, Toner M. Inertio-elastic focusing of bioparticles in microchannels at high throughput. Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 18;5:4120. PMCID: In process

Karabacak NM, Spuhler PS, Fachin F, Lim EJ, Pai V, Ozkumur E, Martel JM, Kojic N, Smith K, Chen PI, Yang J, Hwang H, Morgan B, Trautwein J, Barber TA, Stott SL, Maheswaran S, Kapur R, Haber DA, Toner M. Microfluidic, marker-free isolation of circulating tumor cells from blood samples. Nat Protoc. 2014 Mar; 9(3):694-710. PMCID:PMC4179254

Saeidi N, Meoli L, Kvas S, Kucharczyk J, Gupta NK, Nestoridi E, Bonab AA, Fischman AJ, Yarmush ML, Stylopoulos N. Reprogramming of intestinal glucose metabolism and glycemic control in rats after gastric bypass. Science. 2013;341: 406-410. PMCID: PMC23888041

Bohr S, Patel SJ, Shen K, Brines M, Cerami A, Berthiaume F, Yarmush ML. Alternative erythropoietin-mediated signaling prevents secondary microvascular thrombosis and inflammation within cutaneous burns. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110: 3513-8. PMCID: PMC3587271

Ozkumur E, Shah AM, Ciciliano JC, Emmink BL, Miyamoto DT, Brachtel E, Yu M, Chen PI, Morgan B, Trautwein J, Kimura A, Sengupta S, Stott SL, Karabacak NM, Barber TA, Walsh JR, Smith K, Spuhler PS, Sullivan JP, Lee RJ, Ting DT, Luo X, Shaw AT, Bardia A, Sequist LV, Louis DN, Maheswaran S, Kapur R, Haber DA, Toner M. Inertial focusing for tumor antigen-dependent and -independent sorting of rare circulating tumor cells. Sci Transl Med. 2013 Apr 3; 5(179):179ra47. PMCID: PMC3760275

Seok J, Warren HS, Cuenca AG, Mindrinos MN, Baker HV, Xu W, Richards DR, McDonald-Smith GP, Gao H, Hennessy L, Finnerty CC, López CM, Honari S, Moore EE, Minei JP, Cuschieri J, Bankey PE, Johnson JL, Sperry J, Nathens AB, Billiar TR, West MA, Jeschke MG, Klein MB, Gamelli RL, Gibran NS, Brownstein BH, Miller-Graziano C, Calvano SE, Mason PH, Cobb JP, Rahme LG, Lowry SF, Maier RV, Moldawer LL, Herndon DN, Davis RW, Xiao W, Tompkins RG; Inflammation and Host Response to Injury, Large Scale Collaborative Research Program. Genomic responses in mouse models poorly mimic human inflammatory diseases. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 26;110 (9):3507-12. PMCID: PMC3587220

Uygun BE, Yarmush ML, Uygun K. Application of whole-organ tissue engineering in hepatology. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Dec;9(12):738-44. PMCID: PMC3732057

Seok J, Xu W, Gao H, Davis RW, Xiao W. JETTA: junction and exon toolkits for transcriptome analysis. Bioinformatics. 2012 May 1; 28(9):1274-5. PMCID: PMC3338022

Jones CN, Dalli J, Dimisko L, Wong E, Serhan CN, Irimia D. Microfluidic chambers for monitoring leukocyte trafficking and humanized nano-proresolving medicines interactions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109(50):20560-20565. PMCID: PMC3528552

Lee J, Li M, Milwid J, Dunham J, Vinegoni C, Gorbatov R, Wang F, Shen K, Hatfield K, Enger M, Shafiee S, McCormack E, Ebert BL, Weissleder R, Yarmush ML, Parekkadan B. Implantable microenvironments to attract hematopoietic stem/cancer cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2012;109:19638-43. PMCID: PMC3511730

Patel SJ, Milwid JM, King KR, Bohr S, Iracheta-Velle A, Li M, Vitalo A, Parekkadan B, Jindal R, Yarmush ML. Gap junction inhibition prevents drug-induced liver toxicity and fulminant hepatic failure. Nat Biotechnol. 2012 Jan 15;30(2):179-83. PMCID: PMC3609650