A groundbreaking biohybrid device developed by researchers helps control acute inflammation to prevent sepsis and other related life-threatening complications. 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 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.