Carnegie Mellon Press Release: April 8, 2004
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Press Release

Contact:
Chriss Swaney
412-268-5776

For immediate release:
April 8, 2004

Carnegie Mellon To Host Fourth Annual Mid-West Tissue Engineering Consortium

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Bone Tissue Engineering Center will host more than 100 researchers and their breakthrough tools April 16-17 at the Mid-West Tissue Engineering Consortium at the Station Square Sheraton Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Participants from more than 10 universities will discuss the latest bone tissue engineering research, including recent clinical therapies that will duplicate the incredibly complex process of bone healing.

"Researchers are exploring many approaches but most strategies involve some combination of signaling molecules, cells and a 3-D matrix or scaffold," said Jeffrey O. Hollinger, director of Carnegie Mellon's Bone Tissue Engineering Center.

Hollinger said his team is working to carefully map out where the signaling molecules should be placed in the bone scaffold. The goal is for cells to attach to a scaffold, multiply, then transform themselves into normal, healthy bone as the implanted scaffold degrades.

Other projects to be featured at the consortium include the work of Carnegie Mellon's Phil Campbell and Lee Weiss. They are developing a mini-printer that is mounted onto a patient during surgery where the device will actually print the scaffold and growth factors directly into a patient.

Researchers and graduate students also will demonstrate the use of new bone-making equipment like the BioReactor instrument created to make bone ligaments. Carnegie Mellon researchers developed the basic concept for the new tissue engineering tool that was commercialized by EnduraTEC. The Minnesota-based company specializes in making equipment for cardiovascular and orthopaedic applications.

"The tissue engineering industry is a small, but growing, sector. The Mid-West consortium is a great way to bring the industry's knowledge base to our region and share the great work going on in the Pittsburgh region," Hollinger said. A study conducted in 2000 by the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative identified 67 U.S.-based biotechnology companies creating tissue engineering products or technologies. That industry sector is expected to experience a 50 percent growth rate over the next decade.

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