Come create your very own Ghost Heart!
Decellularization is a tissue engineering technique designed to strip out all the cells from a donor organ, leaving nothing but the connective tissue that used to hold the cells in place. This scaffold of connective tissue - called a "ghost organ" for its pale and almost translucent appearance - can then be reseeded with a patient's own cells, with the goal of regenerating an organ that can be transplanted into the patient (http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2012/08/ghost_heart_a_framework_for_gr.html) without fear of tissue rejection. A decellularized mouse heart regenerated with heart precursor cells will actually start beating autonomously (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813112301.htm)! Here's some amazing videos on this work by Doris Taylor at U. Minnesota:
Creating a beating heart in the lab (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9XzN0-TQZc)
Surprising Beauty, Holding A Pig's Heart (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9f4_IwkkP8)
We're just doing the first part though: decellularization of a pig heart. Why? Well, what self-respecting mad scientist wouldn't want to have a Ghost Heart in a Jar! Read more about the last time we made a Ghost Heart: http://www.instructables.com/id/Ghost-Heart-in-a-Jar/
Open to All ages - we think this could be a great parent-child bonding experience for the right kind of nerdy kid genius who can't get enough of biology! This class is not for the squeamish though - you will be working with real, bloody pig hearts. You will also be learning a ton about heart anatomy and function, and modern tissue engineering techniques.
Note that this is an all-day class - 10am to 8pm - and you can attend for as much of the day as you would like. There will be some blocks of time in the middle to grab some food, get a tour of the building, and talk about some of the other projects at Counter Culture Labs.
The number of hearts and pumps available is limited. If you want to take your own Ghost Heart home, there will be an extra $150 charge to cover the cost of reagents and equipment.
Class scholarships available as needed, please contact [masked]