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SELECTBIO Conferences Stem Cells for Drug Discovery & Toxicity Screening 2017


Engineered Living Systems: Current State and Future Potential

Roger Kamm, Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Following on recent advances in understanding single cell behavior (Carrera & Covert, Trends in Cell Biology, 2015), and in developing simple, proof-of-concept biological machines (Raman et al., PNAS, 2015, Park et al., Science, 2016), organoids (Fatehullah et al, Nature Cell Biology, 2016), and organ-on-chip technologies (Huh, et al., Science, 2010), efforts are underway to standardize manufacturing methods for engineered living systems (ELS).  The approaches proposed, however, are widely divergent and often lack a sound basis due to the absence of a fundamental understanding of aspects unique to ELS – e.g., complexity, the central role of emergence – and fail to take advantage of their extraordinary capabilities – self-assembly, growth, self-repair, adaptation, learning.  We need to build on our current knowledge base for the development and design of ELS, rethinking much of what we have learned from abiotic engineered systems. A major effort is therefore required to characterize, model and image the dynamical behavior of ELS, and thus establish the design principles needed for robust manufacture.   While many ELS can survive merely by diffusion of gases and nutrients from their environment, most systems exceeding several hundred microns in lateral dimension require some means for convective transport, such as the circulatory system found in many living organisms.  Several approaches have been employed to meet these needs, either by engineered conduits or induced network growth from seeded or suspended cells.  In this talk, some of these methods will be described, focusing on networks that form by self-assembly, tend toward a stabilized perfusable network within 1-2 weeks, synthesize and organize their own matrix environment, and adapt to changing conditions.  Both the successes and challenges of creating these networks will be discussed with the aim of developing reliable, vascularized ELS amenable to biomanufacture.

Add to Calendar ▼2017-07-10 00:00:002017-07-11 00:00:00Europe/LondonStem Cells for Drug Discovery and Toxicity Screening 2017Stem Cells for Drug Discovery and Toxicity Screening 2017 in Boston, USABoston,