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:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April 28, ... Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ... announced a global partnership that will provide end ... use mobile banking and payment services.      (Logo: ... key innovation area for financial services, but it also plays ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016  A new partnership announced today will ... decisions in a fraction of the time it ... high-value life insurance policies to consumers without requiring ... Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) ... pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has ... CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to ... the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software ... the company. Dr. Bready served as CEO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2016 , ... ... powerful weapons in combating the asbestos cancer, malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted ... , Researchers in the University of Rome’s Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... ... contaminated with Listeria, as reported by Food Safety News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates ... according to Ted Olsen, CEO of Baltimore-based biotech firm, PathSensors, Inc. ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2016 , ... ... research organization (CRO) has welcomed Abu Siddiqui as Director, Large Molecule & Biomarker ... executing biologics, vaccine and translational biomarker discovery studies for preclinical and clinical safety ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 18, 2016 , ... ... Pharmaceutical Sciences Summer Camp at The University of Toledo. This two-day camp will ... an opportunity to explore the field of pharmaceutical sciences in preparation for a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: