Tissue scaffold to help treat organs and cells damaged by cancers and other diseases.

A Purdue University team has come up with 3D body mapping technology to help treat organs and cells damaged by cancer and other medical issues.

“My hope is to help millions of people in need,” said Chi Hwan Lee, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering in Purdue’s College of Engineering, who leads the research team. “Tissue engineering already provides new hope for hard-to-treat disorders, and our technology brings even more possibilities.”

The Purdue team created a tissue scaffold with sensor arrays in a stackable design that can monitor electrophysiological activities of cells and tissues. The technology uses the information to produce 3D maps to track activity.

“This device offers an expanded set of potential options to monitor cell and tissue function after surgical transplants in diseased or damaged bodies,” Lee said. “Our technology offers diverse options for sensing and works in moist internal body environments that are typically unfavorable for electronic instruments.”

Lee said the Purdue device is an ultra-buoyant scaffold that allows the entire structure to remain afloat on the cell culture medium, providing complete isolation of the entire electronic instrument from the wet conditions inside the body.

Lee and his team have been working with Sherry Harbin, a professor in Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, to test the device in stem cell therapies with potential applications in the regenerative treatment of diseases.

Their works align with Purdue’s Giant Leaps celebration, acknowledging the global advancements in health as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. Health, including disease monitoring and treatment, is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.           

Lee and the other researchers worked with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to patent the new device.

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