The research is part of a larger program at the Institute of nanotextiles Wyss and seas. In the same issue of Nano Letters, Parker’s team also reported the development of a new technology that makes nanofibers using a high-speed and the nozzle. This invention has potential applications ranging from artificial organs and tissue regeneration of clothing and air filters.According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million people, including children, have diabetes, and about 79 million people across the country could be prediabetic or a serious risk of developing diabetes, which is associated with a range of other diseases debilitating. Of all the complications of this disease, infections of bones and tissues of the foot result in more hospitalizations in patients with diabetes because of their reduced ability to recover from even minor ailments.
‘With nanofabrics, we can control the number of threads, the orientation and composition, and that this ability allows us to create new tissue engineering scaffolds that direct regeneration,’ said Parker. ‘It also allows us to exploit the nanoscale properties of these proteins in new ways beyond medical applications. There is a wide range of applications for this technology using natural or design, synthesis of proteins.’
Feinberg is the author of ”Assembly on the initiative of surface proteins Nanofabrics,’ which appears in the latest issue of Nano Letters, a publication of the American Chemical Society. Co-author Kit Parker is a permanent Wyss Institute faculty member, Thomas D. Cabot Associate Professor of Applied Science and associate professor of bioengineering at sea, and a member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
‘The Wyss Institute is very proud to be associated with two of these important discoveries,’ said Donald E.D., Founding Director of the Wyss Institute. ‘These are excellent examples of achieving our mission to use the design principles of nature to develop technologies that will have a huge impact on the way in which we live.’
‘Until now, it was very difficult to replicate this extracellular matrix from synthetic materials,’ said Adam W. ‘But we thought that if the cells can build this matrix on the surface of their membranes, maybe we can build on a surface too. We were pleased to see that we could.’
The Wyss Institute operates as an alliance between the medical schools of Harvard, Engineering, and Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Children’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Boston University.
In nature, cells and tissues assemble and organize into a matrix of protein fibers, which ultimately determines the structure and function, such as skin elasticity and contractility of the heart tissue. These natural design principles have been successfully replicated in the lab by bioengineers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard.
The researchers acknowledge the support of the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center at Harvard University, Science Research and Engineering Center at Harvard, Harvard Center for Nanoscale Systems, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at s’ University of Harvard.