Here’s an example of how 3D printing can be applied to pediatric cardiology. It’s also an example of how Georgia Tech, Emory and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta all work together.
Biomedical engineers used a modified form of gelatin to create a model of pulmonary arteries in newborn and adolescent patients with a complex (and serious) congenital heart defect: tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia. The model allowed the researchers to simulate surgical catheter-based intervention in vitro.
The results were recently published in Journal of the American Heart Association. Biomedical engineer Vahid Serpooshan and his lab collaborated with Sibley Heart Center pediatric cardiologist Holly Bauser-Heaton; both are part of the Children’s Heart Research and Outcomes Center.
“This is a patient-specific platform, created with state-of-the-art 3D bioprinting technology, allowing us to optimize various interventions,” Serpooshan says.
Model of an adolescent patient’s pulmonary arteries, created by 3D printing. From Tomov et al JAHA (2019) via Creative Commons
The biological differences between male and female cells may influence their uptake of nanoparticles, which have been much discussed as specific delivery vehicles for medicines.
Biomedical engineer Vahid Serpooshan, PhD
New Emory/Georgia Tech BME faculty member Vahid Serpooshan has a recent paper published in ACS Nano making this point. He and his colleagues from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Stanford/McGill/UC Berkeley tested amniotic stem cells, derived from placental tissue. They found that female amniotic cells had significantly higher uptake of nanoparticles (quantum dots) than male cells. The effect of cell sex on nanoparticle uptake was reversed in fibroblasts. The researchers also found out that female versus male amniotic stem cells exhibited different responses to reprogramming into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
Female human amniotic stem cells with nanoparticles .Green: quantum dots/ nanoparticles; red: cell staining; blue: nuclei.
“We believe this is a substantial discovery and a game changer in the field of nanomedicine, in taking safer and more effective and accurate steps towards successful clinical applications,” says Serpooshan, who is part of the Department of Pediatrics and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory.
Serpooshan’s interests lie in the realm of pediatric cardiology. His K99 grant indicates that he is planning to develop techniques for recruiting and activating cardiomyoblasts, via “a bioengineered cardiac patch delivery of small molecules.” Here at Emory, he joins labs with overlapping interests such as those of Mike Davis, Hee Cheol Cho and Nawazish Naqvi. Welcome!