As reported by Azom.com, Instron, a leading provider of testing equipment designed to evaluate mechanical properties of materials and components, is collaborating with McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members Julie Phillippi, PhD, research assistant professor in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Thomas Gleason, MD, associate professor of surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, director of the Center for Thoracic Aortic Disease, and co-director of the Center for Heart Valve Disease at the Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute, both at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Instron’s DynaGen® Series bioreactors provide mechanical stimulation to three dimensional tissue-engineered constructs to create physiological conditions in vitro. The LumeGen system imparts pulsatile flow and pressure to a vascular conduit. Applications include the investigation of cell function and differentiation, pharmaceutical benchtop testing, and the seeding and growth of engineered tissues and medical devices.
With Drs. Phillippi and Gleason’s research focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of ascending aortic aneurysms in patients with bicuspid aortic valve and other heritable disorders, Instron tissue growth technologies (TGT) will be providing the instrumentation and mechanical environment to develop a model and evaluate the diseased state in vitro.
The patented LumeGen bioreactor system provides controlled pressure and flow to 3-dimensional vessels and real time monitoring and data collection. These features allow researchers to design the environment of interest in a reliable and repeatable manner to systematically unlock the secrets of disease.
Illustration: An Instron TGT custom-built rotational vacuum device is being employed to seed small-diameter polymer grafts with primary human aortic smooth muscle cells in the lab of Drs. Thomas Gleason and Julie Phillippi. The tissue-engineered model will lead to an increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing the aortopathy associated with bicuspid aortic valve.