Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University Of Missouri Physicist Creating Vascular Tissue; Could Lead To 'Natural' Human Organs

Date:
February 7, 2003
Source:
University Of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Gabor Forgacs’ work with organ engineering is an excellent example of how current interdisciplinary research in the life sciences may have a profound impact on future generations. Forgacs, a biological physicist at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is an integral part of a research team that ultimately plans to build organs in laboratories for the purpose of human transplantation.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Gabor Forgacs’ work with organ engineering is an excellent example of how current interdisciplinary research in the life sciences may have a profound impact on future generations. Forgacs, a biological physicist at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is an integral part of a research team that ultimately plans to build organs in laboratories for the purpose of human transplantation.

Related Articles


“Before we can realize this ambitious goal, however, we must start at the foundation,” Forgacs said. “To function properly, organs need blood. Our aim now is to build vasculature, tissue that can deliver blood.”

Already, Forgacs has made critical steps in pursuing this immediate goal. In his lab at MU, he and several researchers, including medical doctors, cell and developmental biologists, and computer and biological engineers, have laid down the cellular, biophysical and bioengineering foundations for creating tubular organs similar to blood vessels. Most importantly, Forgacs’ MU research team is the first to have demonstrated that spherical cell aggregates – thousands of cells combined to form a ball – can be made and manipulated, and that under appropriate conditions these aggregates will fuse to form vessel-like structures.

Forgacs relied on his knowledge of the laws of physics to predict what would happen if different cell types were combined. First, he knew that embryonic tissues share properties with liquids. Forgacs then thought about how liquids behave based on their inherent physical properties. Because they seek to minimize their surface area, liquid drops “round up.” In other words, under the right conditions the molecules in a drop of liquid move around until the drop acquires a spherical shape. Forgacs also knew that one type of liquid can engulf another type. For example, oil engulfs water.

These physical principles helped Forgacs predict that when different types of cells were mixed together, they would adhere, eventually forming a spherical aggregate, and would arrange in the “right” physiological order. This understanding was critical because human organs typically consist of different types of cells.

Forgacs also knew that different cells have their own distinct adhesion apparatuses. Using computer modeling, his team predicted that if the cell aggregates were arranged in a circular pattern in the appropriate biocompatible gel, they would fuse together to form a ring or tube. Forgacs and his researchers tested the prediction by first manually arranging the aggregates in a circular pattern. Over a 24 hour period, the aggregates fused and created a thick ring, a vessel-like organ. The physical arrangement of aggregates using a modified commercially available ink-jet printer – “organ-printer” – is now under way.

Forgacs plans to refine the experiments on the basis of the models constructed by his team. They are presently stacking several circular layers of aggregates onto gelatinous tissue to cause the layers to fuse into tubular structures.

In addition to the long-term goal of producing vascular tissue for building human organs, researchers hope to produce tissue that will serve as grafts in surgeries to repair arteries and veins. Forgacs cautions that science is many years away from creating a “natural” human organ, but the ability to build blood vessels is an important scientific advancement.

Organ and tissue engineering is a relatively new but thriving area of research in the life sciences. Previous research has focused on creating tissue that does not require blood for sustenance. Researchers have had success building cartilage and ligaments to insert into deteriorated skeletal joints.

Some of the research team’s results will soon be published in Trends in Biotechnology. In addition, Forgacs will present his findings in March at an international conference on tissue engineering. The National Institute of Health solicited the team to submit a grant application, which it has done.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Missouri-Columbia. "University Of Missouri Physicist Creating Vascular Tissue; Could Lead To 'Natural' Human Organs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030207071910.htm>.
University Of Missouri-Columbia. (2003, February 7). University Of Missouri Physicist Creating Vascular Tissue; Could Lead To 'Natural' Human Organs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030207071910.htm
University Of Missouri-Columbia. "University Of Missouri Physicist Creating Vascular Tissue; Could Lead To 'Natural' Human Organs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030207071910.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Magnetic Motors, Not Cables, Power This Elevator

Magnetic Motors, Not Cables, Power This Elevator

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) Imagine an elevator without cables. ThyssenKrupp has drafted an elevator concept that would cruise on linear magnetic motors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins