The focus of research for Scott Magness is the genetic mechanisms that control intestinal and colonic stem cell maintenance and differentiation. He uses the highly regenerative gut epithelium as a model system to understand how Sox-transcription factors control cell-fate decisions. His published studies have identified that cell populations once thought to be homogenous have quite heterogeneous gene expression signatures at the single cell level. Because he has focused on single cell analysis. He has adapted micro Cell Raft Arrays (CRAs) to assay a number of parameters in single cells and organoids that derive from them. His group pioneered organoid technologies in the USA and identified a number of challenges associated with organoid-based experiments. This motivated his group to develop ‘gut-on-chip’ and high-throughput analysis platforms to assess functional properties of single stem cells, multicellular organoids, and biomimetic tissue constructs. This work inspired a Transformative R01, to develop a human intestinal simulacrum (or mimic) in collaboration with other CGIBD members (Allbritton, Bultman). This biomimetic, ‘micro-version’ of gut epithelium and brand-new platform for high-throughput microinjection of various cargos, including human fecal isolates, into the organoid lumen has just been published and stands as the first of its kind integrated system for organ microinjection and high-content analyses.
Relevance of Research to CGIBD Mission: Scott Magness and colleagues in biomedical engineering have developed ‘gut-on-a-chip and high throughput analysis platforms to assess functional properties of intestinal stem cells and organoids. In recently published work, he has shown the ability to use microinjection to deliver human fecal isolates into the organoid lumen, which should open the door to highly novel future research. applications.
CGIBD Focus Area(s): Regenerative Medicine/Repair
Pilot and Feasibility Award 2011
Collaborators: Allbritton, Azcarate, Bhatt, Blikslager, Bultman, Carroll, Gracz, Redinbo.