NJIT Professor Invited to Lecture at International Conference on Tissue Growth
Livingston will lecture at the Engineering Tissue Growth International Conference to be held March 19-21 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Pittsburgh. The conference, sponsored jointly by the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, Piscataway, N.J., and the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, will cover the following topics: cardiovascular tissue engineering; stem cells and cellular therapies; orthopedic tissue engineering; biohybrid organs; and neuronal tissue engineering.
"I was very pleased to be invited to this conference," Livingston says. "It's an excellent conference that brings together industry people with academics working in the key areas of tissue engineering. The hope is to bring basic research to the clinical level and create viable products."
Livingston's lecture will focus on her preliminary success in using adult stem cells to repair bone damage. In animal testing, Livingston has implanted stem cells, mixed with biomaterials such as calcium phosphates, into large bone defects. After 16 weeks, the defective bones showed signs of regeneration and repair.
Her research could have wide applications in health care. Stem cell implantation could help cancer patients who've had large tumors removed from bone, Livingston says. In many such surgeries, patients lose their limbs. But if her method of implanting stem cells mixed with biomaterials is shown to induce bone repair, amputation may not be necessary. Stem cells could also help patients suffering from osteoporosis, whose fractured bones can be regenerated by the cells.
Livingston's research has also shown that adult stem cells taken from one patient can be successfully implanted in another. Researchers at first thought such a transfer might be rejected.
And it's not just defective bones that may be regenerated by stem cells and biomaterials. Livingston is now testing biomaterials that, in combination with adult stem cells, might also repair cartilage, tendon and neuronal tissues.
"This is a very exciting time," Livingston says. "The field of tissue regeneration is wide open and has the potential to influence how physicians treat patients with severely damaged or diseased tissues. I feel grateful and privileged to be doing research in this important field."
The New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, the co-sponsor of the conference, is a consortium of New Jersey's premier colleges and universities dedicated to improving health care and the quality of life by developing biomedical products for tissue repair and replacement.
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