March 2005, Issue 4

Tissue Engineering Resource Center

In August 2004 Tufts received a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a Tissue Engineering Resource Center (TERC), the first of its kind. In addition to traditional areas involving instrumentation and scaffolding for tissue growth, the TERC marks a step into the exciting new area of bioinductive materials for use in implants, which are designed to prompt desirable and predictable cell and tissue responses. David Kaplan, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Bioengineering & Biotechnology Center, led the effort to bring the TERC to Tufts and will be the new center’s director.

The TERC will be located at the Science and Technology Center on the Medford/Somerville campus and will augment existing Bioengineering & Biotechnology Center laboratories. Facilities currently functional include a cell and tissue culture laboratory and a biophysical characterization laboratory equipped for X-ray diffraction, Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy, fluorimetry, and mass spectrometry. Also available are two atomic-force microscopes for molecular-scale characterization of surfaces. The TERC will add a tissue engineering laboratory and a biomaterials laboratory for making, processing, and characterizing biomaterials, and it will house a new confocal microscope for cell imaging.

As is true of all laboratory equipment at the Bioengineering & Biotechnology Center, the TERC is available for use by Tufts faculty and students. Users need to have proper training before gaining access to the equipment and facilities, and they usually bring their own supplies if significant cost is involved. The TERC will also serve as a much-needed resource for biotechnology start-up companies in the area. Protocols are being developed to encourage private companies to work with the TERC on commercially viable products in the field of tissue engineering, and a fee structure for outside users is being created.

Kaplan is hiring a TERC laboratory coordinator whose duties will include establishing and maintaining the center’s website and a system for reserving equipment and coordinating use of the facilities.

For more information, call the Biomedical Engineering Department at
(617) 627-2580.


 

Tufts University, Office of the Vice Provost
Health Sciences Campus: (617) 636-6550
Medford Campus: (617) 627-3417
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