The concept of tissue engineering with part cell and part synthetic materials was proposed nearly 20 years ago. Bhatia explains why one would choose to use an engineered tissue and the challenges of tissue engineering that reproduces the micro-architecture of tissue in vivo. She goes on to describe how the ingredients and the methods of fabrication of a hybrid tissue are chosen.
In the second part of her talk, Bhatia tells us about research from her lab and others to develop an implantable, engineered liver. She explains the challenges of co-culturing hepatocytes and the supporting cells necessary to keep the hepatocytes functional. Her lab has successfully engineered microscale human livers that are showing promise as a mechanism to identify drugs that are toxic to the liver and to study viruses and parasites that attack the liver.
Sangeeta Bhatia received her Sc.B. in biomedical engineering from Brown University, her M.D. from Harvard Medical School and her Ph.D. from MIT. She is currently Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and of Electrical and Computer Science at MIT and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Research in her lab is focused on using micro-… Continue Reading