bioengineering

3D bioprinting personalized neural tissues for drug screening

Bioprinting can produce living human tissues on demand, opening up huge possibilities for medical breakthroughs in both drug screening and developing replacement tissues. The Willerth lab was the first group in the world to use the cutting edge RX1 bioprinter from Aspect Biosystems to bioprint neural tissues similar to those found in the brain using stem cells derived from healthy patients. Similar tissues can be printed using stem cells derived from patients suffering from Parkinson's disease, recapitulating the disease phenotype in a dish.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Technology for image-based screening to enhance protein production

New medicines being developed to treat complex diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis are increasingly becoming large and complex molecules, such as proteins. These molecules must be produced using cells grown in a laboratory or production facility. A key bottleneck in the development of such new medicines is producing sufficient quantities of these molecules for various stages of rigorous testing to ensure safety and efficacy. This project will develop a technology to generate better producer cells in order to increase their productivity.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Engineering stem cells to improve adaptive immune function

Thousands of Canadians receive bone marrow transplants each year to treat cancer and immune disease. Unfortunately, not only is this treatment dangerous, it is only effective for a small subset of cancers and immune disorders. Our goal is to provide a safer alternative to marrow transplantation that can be applied to a broad set of indications.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Microbial control of gut environment in IBD

Gut health is closely connected to our microbiota, a unique, constantly evolving, group of trillions of bacteria that live in our bodies. Gut microbes produce compounds that are absorbed into our blood, providing nourishment and also affecting the gut environment. The digestive tract is composed of many different local areas, called habitats, in which physical and chemical properties such as water availability, salt concentration, acidity or temperature are tightly controlled by human-microbe interactions.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Rapid selection and sequencing of single circulating tumour cells in prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. Comprehensive analysis of genomes has the potential to inform precise prostate cancer treatments. However, a major challenge of prostate cancer genomic analysis is the inaccessibility of metastatic tissue. Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) offer great potential as an alternative source of genetic material, which would enable the identification of the relevant mutations and aberrations that define prostate cancer subtypes.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

A microfluidic cell migration assay enabling anticancer drug testing of patient-derived tumour cells

The dispersal of tumour cells within malignant tissue relies on a process called chemotaxis, where tumour cells migrate in response to chemical signals in the local microenvironment. There has been longstanding interest in using chemotaxis assays to deduce how invasive a tumour is, and how it might respond to drug therapy. However, current chemotaxis assays are prone to extreme inter-assay variability, due to the inherent instability of the chemical gradient.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Regulation of the ion channel TRPM3 by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the implications on brain functions and diseases.

Oxidative stress (OS) describes the occurrence of reactive oxygen species (ROS), chemicals that cannot be balanced by the body’s antioxidant defenses. OS can occur in every cell of the body and is linked to an increasing number of diseases.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

An advanced wearable robotic exoskeleton for assisting people with lower limb disabilities

Human locomotion is influenced by many factors, including neuromuscular and joint disorders that affect the functionality of joints and can cause partial or complete paralysis. Reduced mobility is estimated to affect over 1.5 million people in the United States alone. Many individuals require mobility assistive technologies to keep up with their daily life, and the demand for these devices increases with age.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2018

Tissue engineered human cerebral blood vessels: A platform for lipoprotein studies on cerebrovasculature health

With every heartbeat, one quarter of all the blood in the body flows through the brain. This activity is essential for the health of neurons in the brain throughout life.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 
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