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:
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.
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.
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
Researchers discover new protein needed for rapid wound repair
Researchers at the University of Toronto have made progress in understanding the intricate cellular processes involved in tissue development and repair. The findings, published in the journal Current Biology, shed light on the mechanisms underlying collective cell migration, a fundamental behavior that plays a crucial role in both normal embryo development and pathological conditions such as cancer metastasis.
How bending implantable medical devices can enable infectious organisms to gain a toehold
A study from U of T Engineering researchers shows that mechanical deformation of medically implantable materials — such as bending or twisting — can have a big impact on the formation of potentially harmful biofilms.
Professor Molly Shoichet elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors
University Professor Molly Shoichet has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).
Milica Radisic joins Donnelly Centre
The Donnelly Centre is swelling its ranks of leading researchers with two new faculty appointments.
New strategy for delivery of therapeutic proteins could help treat degenerative eye diseases
A U of T Engineering research team has created a new platform that delivers multiple therapeutic proteins to the body, each at its own independently controlled rate. The innovation could help treat degenerative diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss for people over 50.
U of T Engineering team designs new hydrogel that opens pathways to more targeted cancer treatments
A team of U of T Engineering researchers, led by Professor Molly Shoichet (ChemE, BME, Donnelly), has designed a new way to grow cells in a laboratory that enables them to better emulate cancerous tumours.