The University of Kansas has received a $90,000 research funding grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct groundbreaking research into liver regeneration.
The research is headed by Emily Mangus, a UK doctoral student.
(Emily Mangus; courtesy of UK)
Currently, liver aliments are usually treated with a transplant. “Unfortunately, liver transplants are very hard to obtain,” Mangus said. “You have to meet very specific criteria and a lot of patients aren’t eligible for these transplants.”
Mangus will research ways that a moldable, injectable substance called colloidal gel can be used to treat liver problems. She wants to improve a process that transplants individual cells into the liver.
“Native liver tissue can grow into this material,” Mangus said. “Other treatments use a hard, stiff material and can’t allow cells to pass into it from the native tissue. I really want an integration between the native tissue and the cells I introduce.”
Other people on the research team include Michael Detamore, professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at UK.
“She will be the first one to create this type of material,” Detamore said. “She has the chance to be one of the first ones to use it for a liver regeneration application. She brings a new idea for new material for the new application, which we’re trying to come up with as a team, but it is spearheaded by her efforts.”
(Michael Detamore; courtesy of UK)
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