PI Stephen Badylak and Michael Sacks

Co-Investigators Thomas Gilbert

Title Mechanobiology and Regenerative Medicine

Description Regenerative medicine approaches for the reconstitution of missing or injured tissues and organs involves the use of scaffolds, cells, and bioactive molecules. The use of biologic scaffolds seeded with cells is a common approach and several applications have been successfully translated to clinical medicine including lower urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, musculotendinous, and dermal skin regeneration. The principles that guide tissue remodeling and regeneration are only partially understood but the influence of biomechanical loading upon the remodeling process is accepted as an important variable. However, there is an almost complete absence of systematic, quantitative studies to determine the effect of this controllable factor upon tissue remodeling, especially tissues with a smooth muscle wall component.

The present proposal seeks support to conduct a quantitative, hypothesis driven study that determines the effects of mechanical loading upon smooth muscle phenotype in vitro and in vivo and the related changes to the architecture of the scaffold upon which they are seeded. A biologic scaffold derived from the extracellular matrix (ECM) of a porcine urinary bladder will be seeded with smooth muscle cells derived from different sources: the vascular wall, urinary bladder, and esophagus. The influence of those organ specific mechanical loading regimens upon the remodeling process and the ability to modulate the remodeling process by changing the mechanical loading pattern will be investigated. Two specific aims are described in which: 1) ECM seeded with the three different types of smooth muscle will be subjected to carefully selected mechanical loading regimens and the effect upon cell phenotype and matrix organization will be quantitatively evaluated and 2) two smooth muscle cells types will be evaluated upon ECM used within an organ culture model (rat bladder wall) to evaluate the effect of cellular and ECM remodeling when adjacent normal tissue cells are present.

An experienced interdisciplinary team consisting of biomechanical engineers, tissue engineers, physicians, and pathologists has been assembled to conduct these studies. Two consultants, including a leader in the field of regenerative medicine and a statistician, will support this effort. A timeline for completion of these studies, hypotheses to drive the specific aims, alternative approaches for completion of the work, and quantitative criteria for success are provided.

Source NIH

Term 05/15/09 – 14/30/11

Amount: $361,332 (Year 1), $723,556 (total for 2 years)