Guest speaker offers a complementary look at regenerative medicine
The Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering at Indiana University School of Medicine is a research center focused on the advancement of technology that regenerates cells and tissues affected by age, disease, damage or congenital effects.
However, while the center focuses on research and technologies that allow the body to regenerate its own tissues, other labs are taking a different approach in creating tissue in a lab.
Recently, the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering invited a guest speaker who does work in creating tissue—not though the use of the human body but in a lab. Donny Hanjaya-Putra, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, as well as an assistant professor in the Bioengineering Graduate Program, and a concurrent assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
He holds a PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.
“Hanjaya-Putra is interested in discovering the necessary proteins and growth factors and other molecules that one must add to cells to get them to form a complicated tissue,” said Mervin C. Yoder, MA, MD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and Director Emeritus, Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering. “His ultimate goal is to be able to create tissues that can serve a function when placed in the body.”
During his visit to the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering, Hanjaya-Putra explained how his team utilizes engineering principles to control stem cell fate and morphogenesis. His lab is interested in discovering new ways to model diseases and understand how to create functional tissues. Major areas of focus include stem cell engineering, biomimetic materials, and targeted drug delivery. Currently, Hanjaya-Putra’s work is focused on creating vascular and lymphatic tissue.
“It’s a complementary approach, and one ever knows which approach one may need to achieve a goal,” said Yoder. “So we may need some tissue engineering with our technologies to be successful. We may need to combine both in the future to take it to another level.”
In the future, the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering hopes to collaborate with Hanjaya-Putra to help advance the field of regenerative medicine with a complementary approach of self-healing and tissue engineering.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.