Cell and Tissue Engineering

Cell and tissue engineering has the potential to change how we think about disease and aging is happening at BME. Regenerative medicine uses stem cells and biomaterials to repair, replace or regenerate damaged tissue, organ structures and function.

Check out the case studies below to learn about the exciting research done here at BME:


Milica Radasic in a lab with graduate student
Growing heart and liver tissue for safer drug testing and more

Professor Milica Radisic’s team works on growing human tissue in artificial environments as platforms for developing and testing new drugs, and with the potential to one day, repair or replace damaged organs.

Their creations have included Biowire™, a method of growing heart cells around a silk suture, “Hook-in-Tissue,” a biocompatible scaffold that allows sheets of beating heart cells to snap together like Velcro®, and AngioChip, a system built in a normal cell culture dish that allows lab-grown heart and liver tissue to function and interact like the real thing.

Today, the team is already working on commercializing these technologies through TARA Biosystems Inc., a spinoff company co-founded by Radisic.

Tissue Engineering

Portrait of Craig Simmons
Advancing treatments for heart failure

Professor Craig Simmons leads an interdisciplinary team of eight researchers and their students from U of T Engineering, Medicine and Dentistry to advance discoveries and accelerate new treatments for heart failure and cardiovascular disease.

As the scientific director of the Translational Biology & Engineering Program (TBEP), the U of T arm of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research (TRCHR), he brings together experts in engineering and medicine to uncover mechanisms of disease, develop new diagnostic tests for early detection, and create therapeutic strategies using molecules, cells and biomaterials to regenerate heart tissues.

The goal: improve the lives of one million Canadians with heart failure and reduce the estimated $3-billion cost to our health-care system.

Regenerative Medicine

Molly Shoichet and Penney Gilbert conversing in hallway
Designing regenerative medicine to treat degenerative diseases

More than 100 researchers from the University of Toronto and its partner hospitals are collaborating as part of U of T’s Medicine by Design initiative to enhance fundamental discoveries and develop new therapies to treat degenerative diseases.

Led by University Professor Michael Sefton with a historic $114-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, this initiative fosters multidisciplinary collaboration among engineers, scientists and clinicians to solidify Canada’s position as a leader in regenerative medicine, cell therapy discovery and translation.

Read more news about cell & tissue engineering

Heart, cancer and diabetes projects among winners of funding boost for stem cell therapies

May 12, 2022 | Dr. Vasconcelos is one step closer to achieving that goal with a $3-million grant from the Stem Cell Network, a Canadian research funding organization. Her effort is one of 32 projects across the country that rose to the top in a competition for in the largest outlay of federal funding for regenerative medicine in 20 years.

Trailblazing Stem Cell Research

May 12, 2022 | Professor Milica Radisic and Sara Vasconcelos are two faculty who received Stem Cell Network funding for stem cell research.

U of T research team developing new treatment for COVID-19 complication

May 6, 2022 | A University of Toronto research team, led by Milica Radisic, says they have identified a treatment that could help combat one of the most serious COVID-19 complications.

Nine projects supported by 2022 Connaught Innovation Awards

March 31, 2022 | Drs. Milos Popovic and Craig Simmons are two BME faculty whose research are funded by this year’s Connaught Innovation Awards.

Organ-on-a-chip research identifies new strategy for treating health complications associated with COVID-19

March 21, 2022 | Using their novel organ-on-a-chip platform, Milica Radisic’s research team has identified a molecule with the potential to combat one of the most severe complications of COVID-19 infections.

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