With world-class biomedical research in life and engineering sciences, the Institute of Neural Regeneration and Tissue Engineering focuses on research, development, and analysis using several integrated approaches to solve the world's most challenging problems in neurological disease and injury. This incorporates several highly technical fields, from neuroscience, molecular biology, and biochemistry to physics, engineering, and mathematics. The mechanisms of synaptogenesis, neural differentiation, and neurotransmission are complex, and regenerative approaches to neural injury and disease will require a synthesis of many innovative ideas in order to guide functional restoration of neural tissue. Our core research focuses on synthesizing nanotechnology and biomaterial science with neurobiology and stem cell research, and this work includes the following research projects:
- Neural regeneration in 3-dimensional (3D) tissue cultures and reconstruction of neurodevelopmental events on a cellular and molecular level using neuronal cultures and pluripotent stem cell differentiation.
- Development of functional 3D neural tissue constructs and organoids with nano-patterned scaffolding to replicate actual neuroanatomical regions, identities, and pathways in the brain and spinal cord and to form synthetic neural networks, which can be used to study tissue development, disease, regeneration, and function.
- Novel approaches to treating traumatic brain and spinal cord injury in the acute and chronic stages.
- Discovery of neuroprotective mechanisms to prevent neuron death and investigation of the pathophysiology of stroke, ischemia, and excitotoxicity in order to better understand and treat these events.
- Approaches to neuroregeneration, neuromodulation, and neurotransplantation in neurodegenerative and neurodysfunctional diseases (including Parkinson's, Huntington's, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, movement disorders, dystonias, cerebral palsy, chronic pain, etc.).
- Development of patient-derived stem cell models of brain tumors ("tumoroids") in vitro, particularly for pediatric cancers like medulloblastoma, glioma, and embryonal tumors, which enables investigation of targeted therapeutic treatment regimens that will optimize treatment specific to a patient's genetics and cancer type and potentially find new therapeutic agents in the future.
- Development of novel neural interfaces for neural prosthetics and brain-machine interfaces and devices.
- Formation and mathematical modeling of artificial neural networks and study of mass transfer physics in neural tissue constructs.
- The Centre for Neural Physics and Engineering has also been formed to explore physical and mathematical concepts of memory, thought, and consciousness, including theories that cross disciplines of physics, mathematics, computer science, and philosophy.
More information can be found on the News and Education pages, including journal articles, research reports, images, and videos that describe aspects of our groundbreaking work.
RECENT RESEARCH ARTICLES:
Roles of Diffusion Dynamics and Molecular Concentration Gradients in Cellular Differentiation and Three-Dimensional Tissue Development [Research Article]
Multi-Compartmental Biomaterial Scaffolds Enable Patterning of Neural Tissue Organoids for Models of Neurodevelopment and Tissue Regeneration [Research Article]
Mathematical Models of Diffusion and Metabolism Dynamics in 3D Tissue Constructs, Stem Cell-Derived Organoids, and Brain Development [Research Article]
Patterned and Functionalized Nanofiber Scaffolds in 3-Dimensional Hydrogel Tissue Constructs Enhance Neurite Outgrowth and Directional Control [Research Article]
Novel 3D Designs for Neural Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine [Research Article]
Preconditioning and Postconditioning Signaling Pathways in Neurons [Research Article]
Restoring Structure and Function of 3D Neural Tissue [Research Presentation]
For upcoming release: Neural Tissue Engineering [Textbook]
Stay tuned for the Institute's upcoming lecture series in Medicine and Biomedical Engineering!