Researchers face a fundamental challenge as they seek to scale up human tissue regeneration from small lab samples to full-size tissues, bones, even whole organs to implant in people to treat disease or traumatic injuries: how to establish a vascular system that delivers blood deep into the developing tissue. a multidisciplinary team of researchers at WPI, along with great minds from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Arkansas State University-Jonesboro have successfully turned to plants for inspiration.
WPI's research in health and biotechnology crosses multiple disciplines and embraces a wide range of focus areas.
Cellular biology—neuronal migration and degeneration, the molecular basis of bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation
Regenerative bioscience and stem cell biology—repairing damaged hearts with adult stem cells, creating bioengineered scaffolds for soft tissue repair, developing methods to reprogram adult cells to act more like stem cells to repair wounds
Tissue mechanics and mechanobiology—exploring how mechanical forces contribute to proper growth and healing of connective tissue and bones
Biophysics—understanding metal ion transport across cell membranes, exploring the role of protein signaling pathways in disease, and uncovering the role of the cell's internal architecture in a host of biological process
Disease treatment—attacking malaria with whole-plant therapy, searching for new drug targets for common fungal infections
Animal behavior—mental flexibility in pollinating insects