RMT Podcast #44 – Peter Wearden, MD, PhD

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Peter Wearden, MD, PhD.  Dr. Wearden is an Assistant Professor-Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Director Pediatric Mechanical Cardiopulmonary Support at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and a faculty member at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Wearden discusses his pioneering clinical initiatives in pediatric cardiac care as well as his collaborative research in the development and assessment of pediatric mechanical circulatory support systems. He also shares his vision for the future with new procedures that could dramatically affect the treatments for children with cardiac afflictions.

For more information about Dr. Wearden, click here.

Host John Murphy.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:
McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #26 – Robert Eberhart, PhD

Many of our listeners are familiar with intravascular stents, a commonly used tool to help treat coronary artery disease. The stents used today are metallic, and some of the stents are coated to reduce the post-implant complications of this “foreign” device being inserted in the body.

In today’s podcast, Dr. Robert Eberhart discusses the research that he and his colleagues are pursuing to bring to clinical practice a radically different design of an intravascular stent.  Dr. Eberhart is a Professor, Department of Engineering in Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern.

The device that has been developed in the Eberhart Labs is a bioresorbable poly-(L-lactic Acid) stent that is porous enough so that drugs can be implanted in the stent and slowly released over an extended period of time.

Interestingly, this polymer stent can be implanted with drugs like curcumin, an extract of turmeric.  Some believe that curcumin has many therapeutic effects.  As an example, India consumes 90% of the world’s consumption of the spice curcumin, and in the opinion of some investigators, may be the reason for a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s in India

For more information about Dr. Eberhart’s work please click here.

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
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RMT Podcast #24 – Alan Russell, PhD

As Regenerative Medicine Today celebrates its first anniversary, we welcome back our first guest from December 2005: Dr. Alan Russell, director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

As a pioneer of and expert in regenerative medicine, Dr. Russell is well qualified to comment on the status and future of this fascinating and rapidly emerging field . In this podcast, Dr. Russell addresses:

  • the history of the emergence of regenerative medicine, from over-hyped laboratory results, to failed medical devices, to successful clinical applications;
  • the role of governments in the advancing the state-of- the-art and the clinical use of regenerative medicine technologies;
  • initiatives to assist soldiers (and, ultimately, the civilian population) who have suffered massive loss of tissue due to trauma, and;
  • the status of the professional society that serves the scientists who are developing regenerative medicine technologies.

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

RMT Podcast #23 – Peter DeComo

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 300,00 people in the United States with kidney failure visit a clinic three or four days a week for four to six hours of dialysis. Imagine if these patients could have their blood cleansed of impurities while they slept in their own beds. In this podcast, Mr. Peter DeComo, a co-founder of Renal Solutions, Inc., describes an innovative dialysis system that people can use at home.

As we’ll hear from Mr. DeComo, Renal Solutions’ home dialysis system frees patients’ daylight hours and helps preserve their health because it provides gentle, efficient filtering at higher doses than traditional dialysis machines.

The Renal Solutions home dialysis system has FDA approval and will be available in early 2007.

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook
McGowan Institute on Twitter

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RMT Podcast #19 – Robert Kormos, MD

Our last podcast featured the bioengineer responsible for much of today’s artificial heart technology. Now meet Dr. Robert Kormos, a clinician who has used those artificial hearts to help people survive until donor hearts were available. Some patients even recovered enough heart function to eliminate the need for transplantation.

Dr. Kormos is the medical director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and director of the UPMC Artificial Heart Program. As the Artificial Heart Program celebrates its 20th anniversary, patients of the program have been collectively sustained by their artificial hearts for more than 50 years. In this podcast, Dr. Kormos discusses the evolution of his program and the clinical use of artificial hearts, and he tells us how regenerative medicine will continue to transform the treatment of heart failure.

For more information about Dr. Kormos, click here.

For information on artificial heart treatments at UPMC, click here.

For information on heart device research at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, click here.

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook

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RMT Podcast #18 – Harvey Borovetz, PhD

Twenty years ago, a pioneering team of clinicians and engineers had a vision to use a mechanical heart-assist device as an aid to a patient with a failing heart, and to ascertain if such a heart assist device could serve as a “bridge” for an ailing heart until a transplantable organ became available.

While the team consisted of many diverse disciplines, the lead biomedical engineer was Dr. Harvey Borovetz.  In this interview, Dr. Borovetz provides a retrospective look at the initial days of what has become a relatively routine clinical procedure to support a weakened heart with a ventricular assist device until a heart transplant can be implemented. Dr. Borovetz shares the progress that has been made in the engineering as well as the clinical procedures.

He also provides a glimpse at the future, sharing his vision on the emerging technology development that he is leading to provide equivalent cardiac care for infants and children.

For more information, the following web sites may be of interest:

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook

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RMT Podcast #16 – William Federspiel, PhD and Marina Kamaneva, PhD

In podcast #16, learn about two technologies that help keep tissues oxygenated in dire times.

Dr. William Federspiel is developing devices that do some of the lungs’ critical work of adding oxygen to blood and removing carbon dioxide. These aren’t ventilators, which mechanically inflate the lungs with air, but small devices that can be inserted into a vein through an incision in the femoral artery.  Known as respiratory assist catheters, they can unburden the lungs for a short time while they recover from disease or injury.

Dr. Marina Kameneva, meanwhile, has found a compound derived from aloe vera that boosts survival rates during episodes of massive blood loss. Known as a drag reducing polymer, the compound seems to help oxygen-carrying red blood cells reach needy tissues even when there’s not a lot of blood to go around.

Dr. Federspiel is William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Chemical Engineering, Surgery and Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He directs research in the Medical Devices Laboratory: Biotransport, Pulmonary, and Cardiovascular, a core laboratory of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Kameneva is a Research Professor of Surgery in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Director of the Artificial Blood Program at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Hosts Leah Kauffman and John Murphy. Interview by Leah Kauffman.

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook

RMT Podcast #1 – Alan Russell, PhD

Regenerative Medicine Today welcomes Dr. Alan Russell. Dr. Russell is the Founding Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. In this inaugural podcast, he discusses the current state of regenerative medicine and where it is headed in the future.

Hosts John Murphy and Leah Kauffman

For more information about the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, visit:

McGowan Institute Research Site
McGowan Institute Patient Site
McGowan Institute on Facebook

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