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Grant funds research to develop tissue-engineered solutions for heart disease

on into appropriate cell lineages, including cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells. These cells are among the main components of heart muscle and blood vessel construction. Cell components will be tagged with fluorescent proteins that can be targeted by imaging technologies to follow the development of the cells and tissues after they have been placed in the body. Project scope will encompass in vitro and preclinical studies of tissue-engineered products.

In addition, discoveries made in the course of this research could benefit tissue-engineering efforts aimed at disorders that involve other "mechanically active tissues," such as the bladder and urethra, said Dr. Wagner, adding that researchers hope to be close to the brink of clinical trials in terms of refining techniques at the close of the five-year grant period.

"This work is a fine example of the unique synergy among research disciplines that define tissue engineering," said Alan J. Russell, Ph.D., director of the McGowan Institute. "At the very least, these projects will significantly enhance our knowledge base about tissue regeneration and controlling tissue structure."


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Contact: Michele Baum
412-624-2607
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
4-Aug-2003


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