Cell Based Regenerative Medicine
A major promise of embryonic stem (ES) cell research is the potential to derive, in vitro, transplantable cells of virtually any embryonic type that might be used therapeutically to repair adult tissues damaged by disease or injury. A long-range goal of these studies is to use developed technologies in vitro for 3-D organ culture. That is, to literally grow whole organs in vitro. Before engineering of a complete heart becomes a possibility, a detailed understanding of the development of the various types of cardiomyocytes is required. An overarching goal of my research program has been to understand the mechanisms that mediate lineage specific differentiation within the heart. Recently we developed a protocol for the in vitro differentiation of sinoatrial node cells. These cells could contribute to the development of a biological pacemaker to replace pacing activities in hearts whose natural pacemakers have been damaged through disease or injury. This finding opens up many exciting but challenging possibilities for research that would both add to and benefit from interactions with other faculty within the department of engineering. Below is a summary of my group's progress so afar, as well as on going studies and possible future studies that could be conducting in collaboration with other faculty in the department of bioengineering.
Bioengineering a Functional Pacemaker Novel Imaging Tools
and Biosensors
Endoderm Differentiation

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Ann Foley, Ph.D.
Phone: 843-876-2393
Email: acfoley@clemson.edu

Clemson Bioengineering