Nano-structured bioreactors for blood cell production
Red blood cells are critical for life, and hundreds of thousands of individuals undergo blood transfusion each year, a procedure that is not without health risks. The emerging fields of tissue engineering and stem cell biology raise hopes for the production of replacement tissues for clinical use. Unfortunately, red blood cells have proven to be notoriuosly difficult to produce in culture. The Waugh lab, in cooperation with groups in the Department of Pediatrics and at the University of Albany are working to construct flow-based nanostructured devices to help red blood cells mature properly, particularly during the last stages of maturation. An interdisciplinary seed grant (Provost Award) has been received, and a proposal is pending at NIH.