Scientists are learning how to cryopreserve living tissues, organs, and even whole organisms, then bring them back to life
The rat kidney on the operating table in front of Joseph Sushil Rao looked like it had been through hell. Which it had—a very cold one.
Normally a deep pink, this thumbnail-size organ was blanched a corpselike gray. In the past 6 hours, it had been plucked from the abdomen of a white lab rat, pumped full of a black fluid, stuck in a freezer cooled to –150°C, and zapped by a powerful magnet.
Now, in a cramped, windowless room on the 11th floor of the University of Minnesota’s (UMN’s) Malcolm Moos Health Sciences Tower, Rao lifted the kidney from a small plastic box and gently laid it inside the open abdomen of another white rat. Peering through a microscope, the transplant surgeon–in–training deftly spliced the kidney’s artery and vein into the rat’s abdominal blood vessels using a thread half the thickness of a human hair… Continue reading.
Engineering and medical researchers at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Mayo Clinic have developed a new process for successfully storing specialized pancreatic islet cells at very low temperatures and rewarming them, enabling the potential for on-demand islet transplantation. The breakthrough discovery in cryopreservation is a major step forward in a cure for diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for nearly 90,000 deaths each year. While diabetes management has improved greatly over the 100 years since the discovery of insulin, even the most modern methods remain a treatment for the condition rather than a cure… Continue reading.
Distinguished McKnight University Professor John Bischof has been appointed for a three-year term as director of the University of Minnesota Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM). He has served as interim director during the past year.
As director of IEM, Bischof will report to both the University of Minnesota Dean of the Medical School and the Dean of the College of Science and Engineering and will be responsible for administering IEM programs including fellowships, educational programs, visitorships, and research programs. He will strengthen interdisciplinary academic programming across disciplines and enhance the research portfolio. Bischof will also work to grow relationships with business and industry as well as partner with colleges across the University to increase educational activities to students. As director, Bischof will also hold the Medtronic Bakken Chair, concurrent with the role of director.
Bischof has been a faculty member in both the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Biomedical Engineering since the 1990s. He previously served as associate director of IEM from 2007-2009 and 2013-2017 and has served the last year as interim director. He has been a member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota since 2006. Bischof currently holds the Carl and Janet Kuhrmeyer Chair in Mechanical Engineering… Continue reading.