Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering
Under the leadership of Chandan Sen, PhD, one of the
nation’s leading experts in the field of regenerative medicine, a non-invasive,
nanochip device that uses a technology called tissue nanotransfection (TNT) has
been developed to reprogram one type of tissue into another with a simple touch
and electric spark that is harmless to the body.
In the United States, 15 percent of patients with diabetes develop a foot ulcer, and 12 to 24 percent of individuals with a foot ulcer require amputation. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering at Indiana University School of Medicine is able to treat diabetic foot ulcers with leading expertise.
With advancing battlefield technologies, field medicine, and ever-changing arenas of battle, more military personnel are facing multiple limb loss and other related complex issues. The primary goal of this program is to help military personnel lead normal, productive lives and perform activities of daily life that are comparable to people without limb loss. An important secondary goal is to enable the return of affected personnel to active duty status.
There are 3.3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States who have undergone breast implant augmentation surgery. Worldwide, more than 10 million women are living with breast implants. In recent years, many complications have been attributed to these implants.
Tissue engineering encompasses the generation of surrogate functional tissue using biomaterials. Over the last decade, this field of medical science has become an important alternative to restoring the functional integrity of damaged tissue.
Due to improvements in protective body armor, “up-armored” vehicles, and medical practice coupled with the advances in the military trauma/combat casualty care systems, great gains have been made in combat survival rates. Yet combat-casualty survivors often suffer complex orthopedic and extremity injuries and have high rates of amputations secondary to various explosive devices. Thus, the number of service personnel surviving with amputations has increased; current estimates exceed 1200 surviving amputees.
Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI) is a peripheral artery disease caused due to massive occlusion of blood flow to lower extremities. It is often associated with excruciating pain and leads to the development of skin ulcers or gangrene. The five-year survival rate of Critical Limb Ischemia patients is 50 percent after initial diagnosis. For patients that fall into the extreme spectrum of Critical Limb Ischemia that cannot tolerate surgical intervention, limb amputation is the only treatment option. Cell-based therapies provide immense hope to promote wound healing and restore blood perfusion in treating Critical Limb Ischemia patients.
A new generation of thought leaders seek to better understand what happens to human tissues after human death and want to trace how and why certain cells live on after human death. Discoveries may usher in new reasoning about life and death, both from a scientific and philosophical perspective, and introduce possibilities for future medical treatment. We hypothesize withdrawal of central survival signals in clinical death induces a return to fetal development in select cellular populations that strive purposefully to survive.
In 2021, the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering received a three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation on human post-mortem tissue conatus research that helps address one of the foundation’s strategic priorities: Science and the Big Questions. Led by Chandan K. Sen, PhD, the ICRME will focus on the skin, which has the capacity to live at a cellular level long after death. Research findings could help inform future biomedical research that recognizes death as a biological variable as well as a pathway to future clinical care that supports enhanced tissue survival that could have broad clinical and investigative implications, including transplant and forensic science. Faculty from the IU College of Arts + Sciences, with expertise in philosophy and bioethics, are collaborating with ICRME investigators, to study the biophysical, ethical and philosophical questions that will direct their efforts in discovery.