Navigation Links
UTMB scientists awarded NIH grant for lab-grown lung tissue project
Date:7/27/2012

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have been awarded a two-year, $1.25 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop a method of custom-growing human lung tissue to make a three-dimensional model for biomedical studies.

The lab-grown piece of lung, about the size of a dime, will form the core of a system intended to provide a powerful new option for testing new vaccines and drugs and studying disease processes in the lung.

"I'm so excited that the NIH is giving us this opportunity," said UTMB professor Joan Nichols, principal investigator on the project. "We've been working on tissue engineering for a long time, and developing this kind of model has always been one of our goals. These systems could really change the paradigm of what we do."

The NIH is also funding 16 other projects aimed at developing similar models using engineered human tissues, including those for the heart, liver, kidney, intestine and skin. Ultimately, the agency hopes to connect different tissue models together, in order to create a system that could simulate the combined responses of multiple organs.

Although animal models for disease and pharmaceutical testing have a long record of success, experimental models based on engineered human tissues would offer significant advantages to researchers, Nichols said.

"First, it's a human system, and while you can simulate human responses with animal models, it's never perfect," she said. "Second, it's easily managed, and it scales up easily, because having no animal care makes everything cheaper and easier. And if the thing you're testing is toxic, it's just cells you're not killing an animal."

According to Nichols, tissue-engineered models will also give researchers the ability to more easily conduct repeated observations in live tissue and apply advanced imaging techniques such as two-photon microscopy. They should also allow researchers to study diseases for which animal models are either nonexistent or prohibitively expensive, such as hepatitis C and Ebola.

To make engineered lung tissue for the project, Nichols needs to accomplish two main tasks. First, she has to generate a "scaffold," an extracellular protein network that will give structure to her creation. Then she has to add the right cells in the right quantities to grow tissue that will act as if though it's part of a real lung.

Nichols plans to either use an artificial scaffold or harvest a natural one from a pig lung, using a process that she and co-investigator Dr. Joaquin Cortiella developed to grow mouse lungs from stem cells. Choosing what kinds of cells to grow on the scaffold, she said, will be a matter of determining the best mix to accomplish two specific objectives: generating fibrosis, an all-too-common response to drug toxicity; and testing her system's responses to different strains of influenza.

"Like any organ, the lung has a lot of different cell types in it," Nichols said. "These tissues can be as complex as we want, but it's best to just start very simple and then build off of that we can evaluate the responses of just pneumocytes, or endothelial cells and pneumocytes together, or endothelial cells and pneumocytes and immune cells, like macrophages and neutrophils. It's important to know what each individual piece does."

Nichols is confident that she'll be able to meet the goals the NIH has set for the two-year award, opening up the possibility that she'll be selected to participate in the three-year-long second phase of the project. "After this we will probably join with whoever got kidney, whoever got liver, whoever got skin and so on, as well as whoever's making the system that this will all go in," she said. "Then we'll have something really significant, with all these units linked together interacting with each other, very much like your body would normally."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Kelly
jpkelly@utmb.edu
409-772-8791
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Stanford scientists develop gene therapy approach to grow blood vessels in ischemic limbs
2. Queens scientists seek vaccine for Pseudomonas infection
3. Scientists produce eye structures from human blood-derived stem cells
4. American Society of Plant Biologists honors early career women scientists
5. Brandeis scientists win prestigious prize for circadian rhythms research
6. Scientists discover new method of proton transfer
7. Salk scientists open new window into how cancers override cellular growth controls
8. WileyChina.com - Now Featuring Bespoke Pages for China’s Life Scientists
9. Scientists win $2 million to study new pathway in development and maintenance of lymphoma
10. UGA scientists reveal genetic mutation depicted in van Goghs sunflower paintings
11. Genetic mutation depicted in van Goghs sunflower paintings revealed by scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , ... recognition technologies, today announced the release of the ... which provides improved facial recognition using up to ... a single computer. The new version uses deep ... accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... 2017 At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. ... DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese ... CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the two government ... and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... 13, 2017 Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face pictures against each other ... identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... source of human cardiovascular cells for research and the development of cardiac ... possible to generate large numbers of cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs). Due to varying differentiation ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Vortex Biosciences , provider of circulating ... prostate circulating tumor cells using Vortex microfluidic technology ” in Nature Precision Oncology on ... Dr. Dino Di Carlo and Dr. Matthew Rettig at the University of California, Los ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics , the ... this year’s Bio-IT World Conference and Expo in Boston May 23-25 with ... solution. The Anzo Smart Data Lake is also a finalist for the Best ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... is exhibiting in booth B2 at the Association for Pathology Informatics Annual ... , In addition to demonstrating its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation Portal, Inspirata ...
Breaking Biology Technology: