Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research on 3-D scaffolds sets new bar in lung regeneration

Date:
March 7, 2014
Source:
University of Vermont
Summary:
For the estimated 12.7 million people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, the third leading cause of death in the U.S., innovative research efforts in the field of tissue regeneration hold promise. In end-stage lung disease, transplantation is sometimes the only viable therapeutic option, but organ availability is limited and rejection presents an additional challenge. New research focuses on lung tissue bioengineering, which involves the use of a scaffold -- or framework -- of lungs from human cadavers to engineer new lungs for patients with end-stage disease.

Darcy Wagner, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in medicine/pulmonary, left and Daniel Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine.
Credit: Raj Chawla, UVM Medical Photography

In end-stage lung disease, transplantation is sometimes the only viable therapeutic option, but organ availability is limited and rejection presents an additional challenge. Innovative research efforts in the field of tissue regeneration, including pioneering discoveries by University of Vermont Professor of Medicine Daniel Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues, hold promise for this population, which includes an estimated 12.7 million people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Related Articles


In the past year alone, Weiss and colleagues published four articles in Biomaterials, the leading bioengineering journal, as well as two March 2014 articles by first author Darcy Wagner, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow working in Weiss' lab, reporting their development of new methods and techniques for engineering lungs for patients with COPD and pulmonary fibrosis.

Weiss and his team's work focuses on lung tissue bioengineering, which involves the use of a scaffold -- or framework -- of lungs from human cadavers to engineer new lungs for patients with end-stage disease. Their studies have examined multiple perspectives on the process of stripping the cellular material from these lungs -- called decellularizing -- and replacing it with stem cells (recellularization), in an effort to grow new, healthy lungs for transplantation.

Working in animal and human models, Wagner, Weiss and colleagues have addressed numerous challenges faced during the lung tissue bioengineering process, such as the storage and sterilization of decellularized cadaveric scaffolds and the impact of the age and disease state of donor lungs on these processes.

In one of the latest Biomaterials studies, the researchers report on novel techniques that increase the ability to perform high-throughput studies of human lungs.

"It's expensive and difficult to repopulate an entire human lung at one time, and, unlike in mouse models, this doesn't readily allow the study of multiple conditions, such as cell types, growth factors, and environmental influences like mechanical stretch -- normal breathing motions -- that will all affect successful lung recellularization," explains Weiss.

To address this, Wagner developed a technique to dissect out and recellularize multiple, small segments in a biological/physiological manner that would take into consideration the appropriate three-dimensional interaction of blood vessels with the lung's airways and air sacs.

Working with biomaterials scientist Rachel Oldinski, Ph.D., UVM assistant professor of engineering, they further developed a new method using a nontoxic, natural polymer derived from seaweed to use as a coating for each lung segment prior to recellularization. This process allowed the team to selectively inject new stem cells into the small decellularized lung segments while preserving vascular and airway channels. Use of this technique, which resulted in a higher retention of human stem cells in both porcine (pig) and human scaffolds, allows the small lung segments to be ventilated for use in the study of stretch effects on stem cell differentiation.

"The ability to perform numerous experiments and screen multiple conditions from a single decellularized human lung provides an avenue to accelerate progress towards the eventual goal of regenerating functional lung tissue for transplantation," says Wagner.

Through another novel technique -- thermography or thermal imaging -- Wagner and colleagues developed a non-invasive and non-destructive means for monitoring the lung scaffolds' integrity and physiologic attributes in real-time during the decellularization process. According to Wagner, this method could be used as a first step in evaluating whether the lungs and eventual scaffolds are suitable for recellularization and transplantation.

The development of these new techniques are "a significant step forward" in the field of lung regeneration, say Wagner and her coauthors.

This study and Weiss' and Wagner's related publications over the past 15 months showcase the positive impact of the $4.26 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Opportunity for Research grant Weiss received in October 2010 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. In addition to these scientific accomplishments, he's forged strong industry ties, as well, and has several patents pending.

"This work serves as a core for helping develop a robust bioengineering effort to parallel ongoing stem cell activities in the Department of Medicine and for fostering increasing collaborative efforts between the Colleges of Medicine and Engineering," says Weiss.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Darcy E. Wagner, Nicholas R. Bonenfant, Dino Sokocevic, Michael J. DeSarno, Zachary D. Borg, Charles S. Parsons, Elice M. Brooks, Joseph J. Platz, Zain I. Khalpey, David M. Hoganson, Bin Deng, Ying W. Lam, Rachael A. Oldinski, Takamaru Ashikaga, Daniel J. Weiss. Three-dimensional scaffolds of acellular human and porcine lungs for high throughput studies of lung disease and regeneration. Biomaterials, 2014; 35 (9): 2664 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.11.078

Cite This Page:

University of Vermont. "Research on 3-D scaffolds sets new bar in lung regeneration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140307165955.htm>.
University of Vermont. (2014, March 7). Research on 3-D scaffolds sets new bar in lung regeneration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140307165955.htm
University of Vermont. "Research on 3-D scaffolds sets new bar in lung regeneration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140307165955.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. 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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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