Read about ground breaking research being carried out by Dr Luiz Bertassoni.
10 December 2012
Under invitation of the Harvard-MIT division of health sciences and technology Dr Bertassoni leads some of the most prominent endeavours in tissue engineering in his laboratory and contributing to the development of leading technologies and their implementation in dentistry.
Organ transplantation is one of the most important problems affecting health care worldwide. The number of available donors is far lower than the number of patients in transplant units. Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that combines knowledge of engineering, biology and life sciences to understand and synthesize organ substitutes or their damaged tissues to address this shortage. Here at the tissue engineering laboratory at division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) we are using microfabrication techniques -commonly used in the semiconductor industry - to engineer a variety of tissues and organ substitutes, ranging from bone, cardiac tissues, blood vessels, teeth and others. Some of the techniques that are being developed in our laboratory, and will soon be applied in the biomaterials research unit at the faculty of dentistry at Sydney University, include the development of smart hydrogels that mimic the extracellular matrix of living systems; the utilization of soft-lithography, a technique that is used to create micro-patterns to guide cell differentiation and behavior; bioprinting, which utilizes 3D printers to assemble cells and extracellular matrix with biomimetic precision; and microfluidics, a technique that replicates the physiology of different organs in micro-chips, thus allowing for exciting tissue regeneration and diagnostic tools. With the development of these techniques we are expecting to catalyze an important revolution in restorative dentistry, tooth regeneration and point-of care diagnostics. The implementation of these technologies in our department at Sydney University should put Australia in the forefront of regenerative dentistry and dental tissue engineering. We are highly excited with the idea of utilizing these innovative concepts developed with our colleagues at Harvard Medical School and MIT to improve oral care world wide.
Contact: Denise Fischer
Phone: 02 9351 8300