IN A NUTSHELL:
Alexander Seifalian is a Professor of Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine at UCL, where he leads a team that are en route to making organ donation a thing of the past.
In reality, the lab overlooking London is quite sunny and much more up to date than the fictional Dr. Frankenstein’s. And, it’s Professor Alexander Seifalian and his colleagues that have unlocked a major technique in synthetic organ generation”.The professor’s lab is much more than a series of worn wooden desktops scattered with beakers, solutions, medical jars, tubing and paperwork. Rather it’s from here that Seifalian heads University College London’s Department of Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine, which the British-Iranian professor jokingly refers to as the ‘human body parts store’.
It’s the equivalent of a chia pet for organs; take out the mold, spread on some cells and watch it all grow into shape.”
Resembling very thin Latex rubber, the polymer is made up of billions of molecules, each measuring just over one nanometre, or 40,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Working at molecular level allows the material itself to be intricately detailed.
At the cutting edge of modern medicine, Seifalian and his team are focusing on growing replacement organs and body parts to order using a patient’s own cells. There would be no more waiting for donors or complex reconstruction , and since the organ is produced from the patient’s own cells, the risk of rejection should, in theory, be minimal or even eliminated.
From those who have lost noses to cancer to others mutilated by injury, it’s hoped this revolutionary process could transform thousands of lives.Such is the speed of progress that regenerative medicine is now moving on from replacing heart valves and rebuilding faces to potentially curing blindness and accelerating the study of some of the most debilitating diseases.
(Credits to The Huffington Post and Warren Pole at Daily Mail for the descriptions)
Professor of Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine