Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Engineered Liver May Shed Light on Effects of Chemicals in the Environment

07.06.2011
The liver is the primary organ in the human body that metabolizes foreign compounds such as drugs, alcohol, cigarette smoke, and environmental chemicals. Using the liver as an alarm system, researchers are starting to better understand the different levels of toxicity from these compounds and their effects on the human body.

One of these researchers is Padma Rajagopalan, director of the Virginia Tech Institute of Critical Technology and Applied Science’s Center for Systems Biology of Engineered Tissues. She is a past recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to fund her work on cell migration, and in the past two years she has received more than $1 million in funding to create and study engineered tissues that mimic the human liver.

Now, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded one its three-year $750,000 Science to Achieve Results award that it calls STAR to Rajagopalan of chemical engineering and core faculty in the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. T.M. Murali of Virginia Tech’s Department of Computer Science is a co-principal investigator on this award and is also co-director of the systems biology center. Marion Ehrich of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and co-director of its Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies will serve as a consultant on the project.

The newly funded work will take advantage of Rajagopalan’s in vitro three-dimensional liver mimic, an engineered functional tissue. Since the liver plays a central role in the detoxification of the human body, the new project will establish this liver mimic as an effective model for studying the effects of different types of toxins on the liver.

Rajagopalan said, “With the increasing number of chemicals, such as pesticides, being used in agriculture and industry today, humans are exposed to these substances to much greater extents. However, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the cell-and organ-wide effects of mixtures of toxic substances and how interactions among them can lead to chronic health problems. These gaps in our knowledge pose fundamental barriers to preventing or mitigating life-threatening toxicant-induced health issues.”

This award will specifically look at chemically-driven liver damage resulting from exposure to carbon tetrachloride, found in cleaning agents among other products, and to dichloroethylene, used as a solvent in floor finishes such as waxes and lacquers, among other purposes.

With Murali’s expertise in computer science and bioinformatics , they will be able to establish a combined experimental and computational pipeline for toxicity testing and risk assessment based on three-dimensional liver mimics and biological process linkage networks.

Lynn Nystrom | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Scientists generate an atlas of the human genome using stem cells
24.04.2018 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum Technology for Advanced Imaging – QUILT

24.04.2018 | Information Technology

AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice

24.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>