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$3.75 million grant advances tissue engineering partnership
Date:1/27/2010

CINCINNATIAn award from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) will aid a partnership between the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) in finding new ways to use adult stem cells to speed repair of musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries.

The five-year grant is for $3.75 million and involves collaboration between UC's Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Division of Developmental Biology at CCHMC.

David Butler, PhD, UC professor of biomedical engineering, says the award is designated as a Bioengineering Research Partnership (BRP) to support a multidisciplinary research team applying an integrative approach to solving a major biomedical problem.

For more than a decade, Butler's lab has focused on developing better repairs for the patellar tendon, the site where surgeons harvest tissue when reconstructing a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Because surgeons remove about a third of the tendon for the ACL, the site remains a problem for many patients. It also could be a source of another graft if the site could be repaired.

"A lot of times patients say their pain doesn't come from the ACL graft, but from the donor site where the graft was harvested," says Butler. "So that motivated us to look at tendon repair and tendon healing, and to use this model to investigate tissue engineering principles and ways in which we can more effectively repair any damaged tendon."

Butler and his team have previously used a paradigm they developed called Functional Tissue Engineering (FTE) where researchers first study the normal structure and in vivo activity levels of tissues as they function within the body. By using the forces measured in the tendon during normal activity as design parameters, they can better evaluate the function of tissue engineered constructs, or TECs.

A combination of adult stem cells and biom
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Contact: Katy Cosse
kathryn.cosse@uc.edu
513-558-0207
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

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