The regenerative medicine research efforts of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
deputy director Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD (pictured left), professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s department of surgery and director of the Center for Pre-Clinical Tissue Engineering within the McGowan Institute, and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Jorg Gerlach, MD, PhD (pictured right), professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s department of surgery and director of the Bioreactor Group within the McGowan Institute, will be highlighted on the National Geographic Channel on Monday, February 7, 2011, at 10:00pmET.
In the channel’s EXPLORER series, the show entitled “How to Build a Beating Heart” delves into the science of tissue engineering and shows how scientists are beginning to harness the body's natural powers to grow skin, muscle, body parts, and vital organs, even hearts. The program imagines the implications if we could regenerate damaged, aging, or diseased body parts grown from our own cells--custom made and genetically indistinguishable from our own. Can regenerative medicine and tissue engineering eliminate the death sentence for profound birth defects, the need for prosthetics, and any shortage of transplant organs? Tune in to find out!
As a precursor to the feature program, watch a video clip focused on Dr. Gerlach’s skin burn disease therapy work on the video tab on this
. Dr. Gerlach’s skin burn disease therapy combines his bioreactor technologies with a cell spraying device—skin gun—that he and his colleagues have developed to mend burned skin. The expected protocol when a patient arrives at a hospital missing a sizable portion of skin would be as follows: Surgeons take a sample from a healthy piece of skin and isolate skin cells, including skin stem cells, using a method Gerlach and his colleagues developed. Then the skin gun comes into play. A surgeon loads the stem cells into a sterile syringe, loads the syringe into the nozzle like a cartridge, and sprays the cells through the nozzle directly onto the wound. Lastly, the other essential part of the Gerlach process is an innovative wound dressing.
A regenerative medicine approach that could reconstitute functional muscle-tendon tissue, as well as associated nerves and blood vessels, would represent a paradigm shift in the treatment of traumatic tissue injury. The proposed approach of a study led by Dr. Badylak, also featured in the program, involves the use of an "off the shelf" biologic scaffold material that would replace the missing soft tissue, initiate a stem/progenitor cell recruitment process, and facilitate site appropriate functional tissue restoration.
The major focus of the Badylak Laboratory is the development of regenerative medicine strategies for tissue and organ replacement. The use of mammalian extracellular matrix (ECM) or its derivatives as an inductive template for constructive remodeling of tissue is a common theme of most research activities. The goal of all projects is clinical translation and improved patient care. In clinical trauma research, the U.S. Army's Institute of Surgical Research (ISR) is examining a variety of combat casualty care problems in trauma patients. ISR is recognized worldwide for its contributions to improved trauma survival. In partnership with the ISR, Dr. Badylak's ECM technology is used today to help heal soldier lost muscle tissue wounds.
Illustrations: Andrew Hancock, Purdue Alumnus (Dr. Badylak); National Geographic Channel (Dr. Gerlach).
MSN News (02/03/11)
Daily Mail.co.uk (02/03/11)
Community Voices of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (02/03/11)
AssociatedContent from Yahoo (02/03/11)
Dakota Voice (02/03/11)
Skin Burn Disease Therapy
ECM Trauma Clinical Therapy
Bio: Dr. Stephen Badylak
Bio: Dr. Jorg Gerlach