The body's natural inflammatory response is an essential reaction to injury and infection. When acute inflammation escalates out of control, such as in sepsis, it causes nearly 10% of deaths in the U.S. and more than $17 billion in healthcare costs each year. A group of researchers have developed a groundbreaking biohybrid device that can control acute inflammation to prevent sepsis and other related life-threatening complications, as described in an article in the inaugural issue of Disruptive Science and Technology, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
"A device like this has the promise to be the 'Goldilocks' of inflammation - to be that 'just right' modulation of inflammation," says Yoram Vodovotz, PhD, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh.
This is the first report of a device- in essence an auxiliary organ- that can reprogram the inflammatory response at the whole-organism level. It represents a foundational concept and design that can accommodate cells genetically modified in an infinite variety of ways and that can be engineered and tailored to meet many different clinical applications.