A Method for Tissue-Engineering Organ Building Blocks


Reference #: 00727

Invention Description:

Dr. Jay Potts of the USC School of Medicine has collaborated with Dr. Robert Gourdie from the Medical University of South Carolina to develop a new method for generating tissue-engineered rings (toroids) of aligned contractile cells in vitro. The method provides a novel approach to directing self-organized morphogenetic principles that are intrinsic to 3D networks of coupled cells.


Body organs display complex shapes, surfaces, and internal structures including blood vessels. Coupled to morphological complexity, the component tissues of organs possess dynamic contractile and mechanically responsive elements such as sphincter muscles. The ability to accurately recapitulate naturally occurring complexities of shape, internal structure, and biomechanical functionality is a key goal of tissue engineering. The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) precedes virtually every cellular differentiation in the embryo.

Potential Applications:

The present invention describes a unique and non-obvious series of steps to stimulate an EMT-like state in cells in a culture dish (referred to as EMT-priming or activation).

Advantages and Benefits:

  • Microstructure and function closely resemble naturally occurring complexities of contractile tissues in living organisms, including humans. 
  • Method can be adjusted to generate other useful objects, including spheroids. 
  • Utility has been demonstrated: inventors have successfully grafted the toroids (subject invention) with adult stem cells into skin wounds and observed the toroids accelerated wound closure, reduced scar tissue and enhanced the regenerative effects of wound healing drug TGF-B3. 
Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Compositions and Methods for Tissue Engineering, Tissue Engineering, Tissue Regeneration and Wound Healing Utility United States 12/896,196 8,409,603 10/1/2010 4/2/2013 12/13/2030 Issued
Compositions and Methods for Tissue Engineering Tissue Regeneration and Wound Healing Continuation United States 13/854,480 8,815,556 4/1/2013 8/26/2014 12/13/2030 Issued
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Jay Potts
Robert Gourdie
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