Slide Image: Dr. Ray Vito, a professor at the Georgia Tech School of Mechanical Engineering, and graduate student Yu Shin Kim (foreground) are using an organ culture system designed at Georgia Tech as a test bed for understanding the mechanical environment of cells. Ultimately, researchers will use information from these studies to establish a rational basis for tissue-engineered design. This on-going research on tissue engineering is taking place at the Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues (GTEC), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center. Created in 1998, GTEC is supported by NSF and matching grants from the institutions and the Georgia Research Alliance. Many people volunteer to donate organs; however, the large demand for organs and the technology to store them have combined to create a crisis and thousands of patients die every year waiting for compatible organ donations. The tissue engineers at GTEC are working hard to create living tissue and organ substitutes that can be used in place of human organ donations.
Image Credit: Gary Meek, NSF Image Library