Over the last decades, the fabrication of
three-dimensional (3D) tissues has become commonplace. However, conventional 3D
fabrication techniques are limited in their capacity to produce complex tissue
constructs with the required precision and controllability that are needed to
replicate their in vivo counterparts. To this end, 3D bioprinting offers
great versatility in the fabrication of biomimetic volumetric tissues that are
structurally and functionally relevant. The technology enables precise control
of the composition, spatial distribution, and architecture of bioprinted
constructs facilitating the recapitulation of the delicate shapes and
structures of target organs and tissues. This talk will discuss our recent
efforts in developing a series of advanced 3D bioprinting strategies along with
various cytocompatible bioink formulations. These platform technologies, when
combined with microfluidic systems, are likely to provide new opportunities in
constructing functional tissues to facilitate regeneration as well as in
generating microtissue models for promoting personalized medicine.
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More Information Coming Soon!
Abstract: Synthetic biology is bringing together engineers,
physicists and biologists to model, design and construct biological circuits
out of proteins, genes and other bits of DNA, and to use these circuits to
rewire and reprogram organisms. These
re-engineered organisms are going to change our lives in the coming years,
leading to cheaper drugs, rapid diagnostic tests, and synthetic probiotics to
treat infections and a range of complex diseases. In this talk, we highlight recent efforts to
create synthetic gene networks and programmable cells, and discuss a variety of
synthetic biology applications in biotechnology and biomedicine.
Biography: Jim Collins is the Termeer Professor of Medical
Engineering & Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT, as
well as a Member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology Faculty.
He is also a Core Founding Faculty member of the Wyss Institute for
Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and an Institute
Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He is one of the founders of the field of
synthetic biology, and his research group is currently focused on using
synthetic biology to create next-generation diagnostics and therapeutics.
Professor Collins' patented technologies have been licensed by over 25 biotech,
pharma and medical devices companies, and he has helped to launch a number of
companies, including Synlogic and Sherlock Biosciences. He has received numerous awards and honors,
including a Rhodes Scholarship, a MacArthur "Genius" Award and the
Dickson Prize in Medicine, and he is an elected member of all three national
academies - the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of
Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine.
Infections remain one of
the most common causes of death worldwide.
Our ability to care for patients with life-threatening infection are
limited by poor diagnostics and diminishing treatment options. Rapid administration of appropriate
antibiotics is key to reducing morbidity and mortality from infection. However, cultures (the gold standard for
diagnosis) are limited by long time to result (>48hrs), low sensitivity and
specificity, and limited viral or fungal identification. In almost all cases, patients are started on
empiric antibiotics without any knowledge of the offending pathogen. This one-size-fits-all use of antibiotics
leads to resistance, severe side effects, prolonged recovery, or even under-treatment. Worse still, the antibiotics we have been
using are becoming ineffective. Less
than two decades after his discovering, Alexander Fleming noted that microbes
become ‘educated’ to resist penicillin. As more and more pathogenic bacteria develop
resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics, previously treatable illnesses
will become lethal. Our
multidisciplinary research group has been focused on developing technologies to
tackle both of these problems. With
respect to diagnostics three technologies will be described: (1) inexpensive
paper-based detection of coliform bacteria; (2) culture-free detection of
bacteria in whole blood using field-enhanced enzymatic detection (FEED); and (3)
ultra-sensitive nucleic acid amplification using gold nanorods (NR-PCR). With respect to therapeutics our approach is
based on developing nature inspired nanomaterials and physical treatments of
biofilms. Notable examples of
antimicrobial nanomaterials include zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) with
shape-dependent enzymatic inhibition and antibacterial effects and graphene
quantum dots (GQDs) that stimulate natural dispersion of staphylococcal
biofilms through interaction with amyloid forming peptides in the extracellular
matrix. Finally, we have been optimizing
the synergist effects of heat, shear stress, and antibiotics on the treatment
of medical device associated infection with particular emphasis on catheter
associated bloodstream infection. All
examples will highlight a broad transdisciplinary approach spanning acute care
medicine, bio/chemical engineering, computational science, and microbiology.
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