“Vascularizing Engineered (Cardiac and Tumor) Tissues In Vitro”
Tissue engineering holds enormous potential to not only replace or restore function to a wide range of tissues, but also to capture and control three-dimensional physiology in vitro (e.g., microphysiological systems). The latter has important applications in the fields of drug development, toxicity screening, modeling tumor metastasis, and repairing damaged cardiac (heart) muscle. In order to replicate the complex 3-D arrangement of cells and extracellular matrix (ECM), new human microphysiological systems must be developed, and must include a vascular supply. The vasculature not only provides the necessary convective transport of nutrients and waste in 3-D culture, it also couples and integrates the response of multiple organ systems. The past decade has brought tremendous advances in our understanding of new blood vessel formation and stem cell technology, providing a rich environment to vascularize engineered tissues. Over the past four years we have developed a novel microfluidic-based system of 3-D human microtissues (~ 1 mm3) perfused with a network of human microvessels. This seminar will describe our approach and early results, including applications in tumor biology and cardiac tissue.
Steven C. George, M.D., Ph.D. is the Elvera and William Stuckenberg Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his bachelors degree in chemical engineering in 1987 from Northwestern University, M.D. from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 1991, and Ph.D. from the University of Washington in chemical engineering in 1995. He was on the faculty at the University of California, Irvine for 19 years (1995-2014) where he pursued a range of research interests including pulmonary gas exchange, lung mechanics, vascularizing engineered tissues, and microphysiological systems. The NIH FIRST award in 1998 and the CAREER and Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the National Science Foundation in 1999 have previously recognized his work. While at UCI, he served as the William J. Link Professor and founding Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering (2002-2009), the Director of the Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology (2009-2014), and most recently was the PI on a T32 predoctoral training grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. He was elected a fellow in the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2007, and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts. His work is currently funded by grants from the NIH that focus on creating tissue engineered models of the cardiac, pancreas, and cancer microenvironments using induced pluripotent stem cell and microfabrication technology.