Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

From microns to centimeters: Researchers invent new tissue engineering tool

Date:
July 31, 2012
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
Imagine a machine that makes layered, substantial patches of engineered tissue -- tissue that could be used as grafts for burn victims or vascular patches. Sounds like science fiction? According to engineers, it's a growing possibility. Scientists have invented a new device that may allow for the uniform, large-scale engineering of tissue.

Image of cells aligned to spell "Toronto."
Credit: courtesy Lian Leng

Imagine a machine that makes layered, substantial patches of engineered tissue -- tissue that could be used as grafts for burn victims or vascular patches. Sounds like science fiction? According to researchers at the University of Toronto, it's a growing possibility.

Along with graduate students from their labs -- Lian Leng, Boyang Zhang, and Arianna McAllister -- Associate Professor Axel Guenther of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, cross-appointed to the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), and Associate Professor Milica Radisic, core professor at IBBME and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, have invented a new device that may allow for the uniform, large-scale engineering of tissue.

"There's a lot of interest in soft materials, particularly biomaterials," explains Guenther of the materials that help create functional tissue cultures, "but until now no one has demonstrated a simple and scalable one-step process to go from microns to centimeters."

The invention, presented in a cover article for the journal Advanced Materials this month, is currently being commercialized by MaRS Innovations in collaboration with the Innovations and Partnerships Office (IPO) of the University of Toronto, where Radisic and Guenther's labs have filed two patents on the device.

But how exactly does a machine grow a large patch of living tissue?

Scientists manipulate biomaterials into the micro-device through several channels. The biomaterials are then mixed, causing a chemical reaction that forms a "mosaic hydrogel" -- a sheet-like substance compatible with the growth of cells into living tissues, into which different types of cells can be seeded in very precise and controlled placements, according to the researchers.

Unique to this new approach to tissue engineering, however, and unlike more typical methods for tissue engineering (for instance, scaffolding, the seeding of cells onto an artificial structure capable of supporting three-dimensional tissue formation) cells planted onto the mosaic hydrogel sheets are precisely incorporated into the mosaic hydrogel sheet just at the time it's being created -- generating the perfect conditions for cells to grow.

The placement of the cells is so precise, in fact, that scientists can spell words (such as "Toronto," shown here) and can precisely mimic the natural placement of cells in living tissues. And by collecting these sheets around a drum, the machine is able to collect layers of cells in thicknesses made to measure: in essence, three dimensional, functional tissues.

And in tissue engineering, cell placement is everything: something that the new invention delivers. "The cells are able to stretch and connect with each other, which is very important for ultimately obtaining functional tissues," Guenther states.

The resulting tissues, cites Lian Leng, lead author on the project and a 3rd year PhD Candidate in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, are remarkably stable. "In this case, when we put the cells in the right places we create cellular organization quite naturally."

"My laboratory is currently pursuing different applications of the technology -- different tissues," says Guenther. The device may provide the means to create three-dimensional cell cultures for the development of therapeutic drugs, for instance. "But one of my dreams is to one day engineer a vascularized leaf -- perhaps a maple leaf," he jokes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "From microns to centimeters: Researchers invent new tissue engineering tool." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120731135001.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2012, July 31). From microns to centimeters: Researchers invent new tissue engineering tool. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120731135001.htm
University of Toronto. "From microns to centimeters: Researchers invent new tissue engineering tool." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120731135001.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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