"Our long-term goal is to reduce the destructive mechanical stresses induced during the cryopreservation of organs and tissues of a significant size," said Rabin, who specializes in heat transfer in biological systems.
"It is a little bit like watching an ice cube break up in a glass of water and trying to figure out what made the ice fracture and devise ways to prevent it from cracking," Rabin said.
Both Rabin and Steif are charged with developing engineering tools to monitor when these breakups are likely to occur and develop improved methods for storing transplant tissues such as blood vessels and heart valves, and ultimately for life-saving organs like kidneys, lungs or the heart.
The Carnegie Mellon researchers will work with Chicago-based Organ Recovery System, a company specializing in the clinical preservation and storage of tissues.
"We are extremely pleased to be working with Carnegie Mellon and its expert research team," said Mike Taylor, vice president of research and development for Organ Recovery System. Taylor said his company will provide Carnegie Mellon researchers with their proprietary preservation technologies for blood vessel systems to test and study the thermal stresses during cryopreservation.
At present, clinicians are able to store embryos, sperm and stem cells in freezers, but Carnegie Mellon researchers want to develop systems for the safe storage of more complex tissues and organs, which could offer a significant breakthrough in the treatment of diseases and perhaps broa
Contact: Chriss Swaney
Carnegie Mellon University