Also part of the UPMC family:

Whole Organ Engineering Research at the McGowan Institute

Organ engineering, as opposed to tissue engineering, poses significant challenges including the urgent need for:

  • A working vascular network.
  • Functional parenchymal cells.
  • Lymphatic and innervation potential.

In recent years, a promising approach for functional organ replacement has emerged — the decellularization of whole organs. This approach provides an acellular 3D scaffold made of extracellular matrix (ECM).

Chiefly, the scaffold has shown to retain the native vascular network of the organ.

The long-term goal of this research is to establish the guidelines needed to produce functional bioengineered organs for clinical use.

These guidelines would cover whole organ:

  • Decellularization
  • Recellularization with autologous cells (thus avoiding the need for immunosuppression)
  • Transplant

McGowan Institute researchers in the Stephen Badylak Lab specifically focus on whole liver and heart regeneration.