Codirector of Brown University’s Center for Biomedical Engineering, Jeff Morgan leads a team of scientists who have developed novel ways of forming individual cells into living tissue. Some day, their techniques, in combination with stem-cell technology, could cure or lessen the suffering of diabetes and other debilitating diseases.
Strictly speaking, Morgan is a tissue engineer –– one of a substantial number of scientists around the world who are learning how to create groupings of cells that mimic the function of tissues or organs. Formed in the laboratory, these tissues can be transplanted into living creatures. Research is still largely confined to experimental animals –– but success so far in mice and rats holds great promise for humans.
Morgan’s advance is his unique method of growing and assembling individual cells into larger clusters –– what he calls the potential “building blocks” of tissues and organs that could be produced on demand.
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