Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine are interdisciplinary fields of study using a combination of engineering and medicine strategies for the treatment of injured and lost tissues/organs. Tissue engineering involves the use of scaffolds,cells and growth factors to improve or replace new viable biological tissues. The term regenerative medicine is also used with tissue engineering when more emphasis is on the use of stem cells or progenitor cells to produce tissues. The Mozafari Group is working on the development of different strategies ranging from materials science to cellular biology to mimic the microstructure of the tissues in the human body. The group has successfully offered solutions for musculoskeletal, craniomaxillofacial, cardiaovascular, neural, skin, ocular tissue engineering. We are now trying to move from in vitro to in vivo analyses, and ultimately pass clinical trials for successful clinical practice.
Decellularization procedures have made significant inroads in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine during recent years. If proven to be successful and clinically viable, it is likely that this field would be poised to revolutionize organ transplantation surgery. In particular, whole-heart decellularization has captured the attention and imagination of the scientific community. This technique allows for the generation of a complex three-dimensional extracellular matrix scaffold, with the preservation of the intrinsic micro- and macro-architecture of tissues/organs. The decellularized constructs can then be recellularized by seeding stem cells and incubated in perfusion bioreactors in order to create functional organ constructs for transplantation. Our ultimate goal here is to discover and develop innovative strategies for whole-organ tissue engineering that have consequently emerged from the pages of science fiction into a proof-of-concept laboratory undertaking.
Tissue engineering aims to develop therapeutic products that utilize a combination of scaffolds with viable cell systems or responsive biomolecules derived from such cells, for the repair, restoration/regeneration of tissues. Here, our idea is to enable the body to heal itself by the introduction of synthetic scaffolds, such that the body recognizes them as its own and in turn uses them to regenerate “neo-native” functional tissues. We have proposed a large number of such innovative scaffolds for different parts of the human body that have attracted substantial interest in the field. Different innovative fabrication methods make it possible to construct appropriate scaffolds for tissue engineering from different categories of nanobiomaterials. It is expected that with the progress in science and technology, better constructs will be proposed in the future.
The Mozafari Group has made several attempts to provide sufficient nutrients, especially oxygen, to engineered large tissues to overcome the effects of hypoxia or poor vascularization. Delivering sufficient oxygen to the transplanted cells is one of our most critical issues that affects cell survival and correct maturation of engineered tissues. In an emerging approach, we are using three-dimensional scaffolds made from oxygen-generating biomaterials to tackle transport limitations deep within the engineered tissues. This class of biomaterials has opened a new window for overcoming the challenges associated with ischemia occurring within large tissue constructs.