441844 Tissue Engineering: From Microfluidic Devices to Biopreservation

Sunday, November 8, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Berk Usta, Center for Engineering in Medicine, Harvard Medical School - Massachusetts General Hospital - Shriners Hospitals for Children, Boston, Boston, MA

With the ever increasing cost of medical therapies and the nearly impossible odds of developing one successful drug that can pass the regulatory screenings, the time is right to search for cheaper, more efficient and higher throughput solutions for our screening and therapeutic needs. The micro-nano fabrication revolution in engineering and the ever improving computational capabilities are enabling technologies that now make this search more practical and feasible. Tissue engineering, a field that can take advantage of these advances, is still in its infancy despite being viewed as the future of medicine. As an engineer who has been trained extensively in computational modeling and has recently become experienced in bio-preservation and microfabrication; my ultimate goal is to contribute to tissue engineering finally bearing complete practical solutions and fundamental understanding by integrating all three areas of my current expertise; tissue engineering, biopreservation and computational modeling.

My long term vision is one where we can provide live tissue engineered products (TEPs), for clinical, research and industrial use, to anyone and anywhere in the world in a reliable and reproducible fashion. Such a vision requires a multidisciplinary research program which encompasses 1) tissue engineering 2) biopreservation 3) computational and theoretical modeling to accelerate experimental work. Accordingly my long term goal, as an independent faculty member, is to create a 3 thrust research program where I a) build micro/macro fabricated TEPs as organ models and assist/therapy devices (tissue engineering) b) devise optimized preservation methods to make the “off-the-shelf” dream a reality (bio-preservation) c) conduct coarse grained and detailed modeling to understand and accelerate experimental work (modeling).

During this poster session I will also focus on recent work where we are developing novel micro-tissue devices to actively induce and control in-vitro zonation of liver tissues as well as patterning of other tissues. The motivation in this work stems from the realization that despite a plethora of advances in the “organs-on-a-chip” field homogeneity of tissues is still a widely overlooked phenomenon. This work was recently funded by both the NIH via the R21 mechanism (NIH 1R21EB020192, PI: Usta) and MGH ECOR Interim Funding (MGH #226569, PI: Usta). 

Extended Abstract: File Uploaded