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Growing implant tissue on 3-D scaffolds

Tissue implants made of cells grown on a sponge-like scaffold have been shown in clinical trials to help heal arteries scarred by atherosclerosis and other vascular diseases. However, it has been unclear why some implants work better than others.

MIT researchers led by Elazer Edelman, the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, have now shown that implanted cells' therapeutic properties depend on their shape, which is determined by the type of scaffold on which they are grown. The work could allow scientists to develop even more effective implants and also target many other diseases, including cancer.

"The goal is to design a material that can engineer the cells to release whatever we think is most appropriate to fight a specific disease. Then we can implant the cells and use them as an incubator," says Laura Indolfi, a postdoc in Edelman's lab and lead author of a paper on the research recently published online in the journal Biomaterials.

Read more at MIT News: http://mitne.ws/OiiaGV

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Images courtesy of Dr. Laura Indolfi; Music by Sunhiilow

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