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Stem cell, artificial liver research receives Coulter Foundation funding at NJIT
Date:8/10/2010

Two NJIT biomedical researchers have received the prestigious Coulter Foundation Translational Awards for promising patent applications that may some day extend peoples' lives.

The Coulter program provides funding for professors in established biomedical engineering departments within the U.S. Initial funding for each professor will be at least $200,000 over a two-year period.

NJIT Associate Professor Treena Arinzeh will receive funding for her patent application to create an electro-spun composite material for bone repair applications. Her composite material can be combined with stem cells to enhance the rate of bone repair.

NJIT Assistant Professor Cheul Cho will receive support for his patent application for an extracorporeal bio-artificial liver assist device with human stem cell-derived hepatocytes for the treatment of liver failure. His project aims to differentiate human embryonic stem (ES) cells into functional hepatocytes and to evaluate their therapeutic efficacy in a bio-artificial liver (BAL) for the treatment of acute liver failure. Current potential cell-based therapies and extracorporeal BAL devices for the treatment of liver failure are severely limited by the low availability of functional human liver cells, called hepatocytes.

Arinzeh's research focuses on tissue engineering, the application of principles and methods of engineering and life sciences toward a fundamental understanding and development of biological substitutes to restore, maintain and improve human tissue functions. Bone regeneration may be achieved by the use of osteogenic cells and/or factors to induce bone growth in combination with an appropriate scaffold to guide and support the laying down of new bone tissue.

Optimally, a scaffold for bone tissue engineering should satisfy the following minimum requirements, she said. It must be biocompatible, able to coexist with living tissues or organisms without causing harm. It
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Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
sheryl.m.weinstein@njit.edu
973-596-3436
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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