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Transformative NIH grant will support development of tissue regeneration therapeutics
Date:9/20/2011

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded nearly $2 million to researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University to develop a new class of therapeutics for treating traumatic injuries and degenerative diseases.

The five-year project focuses on developing biomaterials capable of capturing certain molecules from embryonic stem cells and delivering them to wound sites to enhance tissue regeneration in adults. By applying these unique molecules, clinicians may be able to harness the regenerative power of stem cells while avoiding concerns of tumor formation and immune system compatibility associated with most stem cell transplantation approaches.

"Pre-clinical and clinical evidence strongly suggests that the biomolecules produced by stem cells significantly impact tissue regeneration independent of differentiation into functionally competent cells," said Todd McDevitt, director of the Stem Cell Engineering Center at Georgia Tech and an associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. "We want to find out if the signaling molecules responsible for scarless wound healing and functional tissue restoration during early stages of embryological development can be used with adult wounds to produce successful tissue regeneration without scar formation."

In addition to McDevitt, Coulter Department associate professor Johnna Temenoff and Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering professor Robert Guldberg are also investigators on the project.

Regenerative medicine seeks to restore normal structure and function to tissues compromised by degenerative diseases and traumatic injuries. The contrast between embryonic and adult wound healing suggests that molecules that facilitate tissue regeneration during embryonic development are distinctly different from those of adult tissues.

This grant includes plans for engineering biomaterial
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Contact: Abby Robinson
abby@innovate.gatech.edu
404-385-3364
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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