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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