Queen's soft tissue replacement technology gets a funding boost
A new process for transforming discarded human fat into a soft-tissue substitute for use in reconstructive surgery is laying the groundwork for creating an Ontario-based regenerative medicine initiative focused on developing products for reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.
“Human fat is an abundant and accessible source of stem cells and proteins that can be used in tissue engineering,” says Lauren Flynn, Queen’s University chemical engineer who pioneered the process. “We use tissues that are normally discarded during surgery, to develop non-immunogenic structures that have shown great promise in promoting natural soft tissue regeneration.”
Dr. Flynn’s technology can be used in repairing or replacing damaged or missing soft tissue caused by traumatic injury, burns, congenital defects or tumour resections such as in breast cancer surgery. The process removes the cells and other components from fat leaving behind a component that, when implanted in the body, can stimulate the regeneration of healthy soft tissue.
Further development of the technology is possible through $192,500 in funding from MaRS Innovation Medical Sciences Competitive Proof of Principle. The program is part of the Ontario Centres of Excellence Institutional Proof of Principle program.