COSI Blog
09
July
2014

Using Nanotechnology to Make Replacement Organs

Recently, we sat down with Jed Johnson from Nanofiber Solutions LLC to discuss his company’s contribution to the exciting world of nanotechnology and medicine. Based right here in Columbus, Jed’s company is using nanotechnology for a wide variety of applications including drug discovery, cancer research, and regenerative medicine.

The cells in our body are connected to one another by a three-dimensional network of fibers called the extracellular matrix. These cells are further organized into complex tissues and these tissues make up our organs. Typically, cells are grown in petri dishes for use in drug trials and other studies. This works well for some kinds of cells but for the most part our cells do not grow well on a flat surface. Nanofiber Solutions’ strategy centers around using extremely tiny fibers to create an artificial scaffold to mimic the extracellular matrix. This allows cells to be grown in a culture that more closely mimics human tissues and this helps researchers learn more about, for instance, how cancer cells migrate through the body. Jed and his company can also collect these fibers together to make replacements for structures like skin, blood vessels, and even the trachea that can be populated with a patient’s own stem cells to create a replacement organ. In this video, Jed describes the role of nanotechnology in his company’s breakthroughs. 

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About the Author

Photo of Joe Wood.

Joe Wood

Joe Wood joined the COSI team in 2012 and has been Manager of Health and Medicine Programs since February 2014. He develops content and programs related to COSI's Health and Medicine area of focus. His interests include paleontology, cooking, gardening, and homebrewing.

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