Injectable hydrogel could save lives of kids with deadly heart defects

Jervaughn Hunter, the paper’s first author, left, with his Ph.D. adviser, UC San Diego bioengineering professor Karen Christman, in the lab. They took part in the research establishing a hydrogel as a potential mitigation for right ventricle damage. [Image courtesy of UCSD]

Researchers say an injectable hydrogel could mitigate damage to the right ventricle of the heart with chronic pressure overload.

The research came out of the University of California San Diego, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. Investigators published their work in Journals of the American College of Cardiology: Basic to Translational Science. 

For this study, they used rodents, but a 2019 FDA-approved Phase 1 trial demonstrated the hydrogel’s safety in humans who suffered a heart attack. As a result of the new preclinical study, the FDA approved an investigational new drug application (NDA). The teams …

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Researchers have a new 3D printing method for soft tissue engineering

Research scientist JeongHun Park. [Image courtesy of Georgia Tech]

A lab at Georgia Tech University has a new design method for soft tissue engineering that enables 3D printing medical devices.

Engineers in Scott Hollister’s lab are 3D-printing personalized airway support devices made from a biocompatible polyester. This material — called polycaprolactone (PCL) — already has approval from the FDA. Researchers use selective laser sintering to heat powdered polyester and bind it together.

According to Georgia Tech, PCL has the disadvantage of relatively stiff and linear mechanical properties. Because of this, its applications have yet to reach some critical biomedical needs like soft tissue engineering.

However, Jeong Hun Park, a research scientist in Hollister’s lab, led a team that successfully applied PCL to soft tissue engineering. The secret? Park says “3D auxetic design.̶…

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