Navigation Links
Engineering team to design and study liver mimics
Date:9/14/2009

Blacksburg, Va. -- Virginia Tech College of Engineering researchers will use more than $1 million in grant funding to study engineered tissues that mimic the liver, one of the human body's most complex organs.

Padma Rajagopalan, an assistant professor in the department of chemical engineering (http://www.che.vt.edu), is designing liver mimics that eventually could form the basis for extracorporeal liver-assist devices. She is the principal investigator on three recent federal grants totaling $1,087,091 related to liver tissue engineering.

The liver plays a major role in the body's defense mechanisms and performs a multitude of functions including metabolism and detoxification. The deterioration in any one of the liver's functions can cause life-threatening health problems or death. Liver transplants are extremely expensive, may not be appropriate for patients at a high risk for surgery, or may simply not be possible due to a lack of suitable donors.

The primary research goal of these projects is to assemble 3D cellular structures that mimic the liver using the major cell types found in the liver. Rajagopalan's interest in this research began when she conducted studies on liver tissue engineering while she was a research associate at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, from 2002 to 2004.

"Liver cells can regenerate inside the body, but lose this ability once removed," said Rajagopalan. "Therefore, researchers need to find a way to sustain cells in vitro. A critical aspect is capturing the precise spacing between different cell types in the liver." At Harvard Medical School, Rajagopalan developed a novel method that uses biocompatible, nanoscale polyelectrolyte scaffolds to replicate the spatial configuration within the liver.

A $419,230 grant from the National Institute of Health is for the project "3-D In Vitro Liver Sinusoids: Design and Detoxification Studies." This project will focus upon the detoxification pathways in 3D liver mimics.

A $365,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) is for the project "Self-Assembled Polymer Scaffolds for Liver Mimics." Richey Davis, a professor of chemical engineering, will collaborate with Rajagopalan on studying the mechanical properties of these scaffolds.

A second NSF award, totaling $302,861, funds "Transcriptional Signatures in 3D Liver Mimetic Architectures" research. Through a combination of experimental and computational approaches, this project will study cell-cell communications in the liver mimics. T. M. Murali, an associate professor in the department of computer science, will develop algorithms to unravel gene networks activated within cells in the liver mimics. Rajagopalan and Murali collected the preliminary data for this project through seed funding obtained in 2007 from the Institute of Critical Technology and Applied Sciences (ICTAS).

Rajagopalan and her collaborators hope that designing liver mimics and studying them at the molecular and cellular levels will bring about a much improved understanding of the organ's structure, and thereafter, to potential breakthroughs in the design of tissue engineered livers. "Information gleaned from this project will provide a sound theoretical basis for the design of the next generation of tissue-engineered livers," said Rajagopalan.

These projects also include outreach to middle school students and to ethnically diverse female high school students. Through summer camps sponsored by Virginia Tech's Center for Enhancement in Engineering Diversity, Rajagopalan and her team will introduce students to the notion of interdisciplinary research and demonstrate how collaborative advances in engineering and computer science can have a direct impact on human health.


'/>"/>

Contact: Steven Mackay
smackay@vt.edu
540-231-4787
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Virginia Tech biomedical engineering team to study knee ligament sprains
2. Time to lift the geoengineering taboo
3. Researcher says microchannels could advance tissue engineering methods
4. Symposium to discuss geoengineering to fight climate change at the ESA Annual Meeting
5. Kelvin Lee winner of Biochemical Engineering Journal Young Investigator Award
6. Engineering innovative solutions for 21st century medicine
7. WPI professor receives Fulbright Scholarship to work on tissue engineering in Ireland
8. NIST issues first reference material for tissue engineering
9. Canadian biomedical engineering pioneer receives international award
10. Joint statement by German science organizations on green genetic engineering
11. Former NASA astronaut Bonnie J. Dunbar to speak at NJITs biomedical engineering seminar
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Engineering team to design and study liver mimics
(Date:3/29/2017)...  higi, the health IT company that operates the ... , today announced a Series B investment from ... The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to ... population health activities through the collection and workflow integration ... collects and secures data today on behalf of over ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric ... of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... DuPont Pioneer and recently formed CasZyme, a ... a multiyear collaboration to identify and characterize novel CRISPR-Cas nucleases. The goal of ... across all applications. , Under the terms of the agreement, Pioneer will provide ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... President Andi Purple announced Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief ... ), Inc. has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, has announced ... network, which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs will ... to enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer education ... professionals to help women who have been diagnosed and are ... ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... DIEGO, CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... as part of its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look ... its reach, as the company moves into a significant growth period. , It will ...
Breaking Biology Technology: