Tufts University establishes $4 million dollar tissue engineering resource center

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. With a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Tufts University has established a Tissue Engineering Resource Center on its Medford/Somerville campus, officials announced today.

The grant is funded through the NIH's National Institutes of Biomedical Instrumentation and Bioengineering.

Tissue engineering has grown immensely as a discipline in recent years due to advances in cell and molecular biology, biomaterials science and engineering and bioreactor design and function. Tissue engineering also fosters basic research, by providing physiologically relevant models of cells and tissues.

"We've created this Center to meet the demand caused by the widening gap between clinical needs and available replacement tissues and organs," said David Kaplan, chair of the biomedical engineering department at Tufts' School of Engineering and professor of chemical and biological engineering.

The Center has a core laboratory at Tufts' Science and Technology Center in Medford and includes a consortium of experts from Tufts' schools of engineering, arts and sciences, medicine, dental medicine and veterinary medicine.

It also includes colleagues from Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Division of Health Sciences and Technology, led by MIT's Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, who also has an adjunct teaching position at Tufts' School of Engineering.

"We recognize the need to integrate cell biology, biomaterials and bioreactor systems as a strategic approach to advancing the field of tissue engineering and associated services to address current laboratory and clinical challenges," Kaplan explained.

The experts will focus their research on two areas: studying and designing biodegradable and biocompatible tissue engineering "scaffolds" to optimize stem cell responses toward new tissue formation, and designing and building novel bioreactors the apparatus for "growing" the

Contact: Siobhan Houton
Tufts University

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