The road-map is organized into a set of three Solution Spaces that each have multiple Research Strategies being pursued to create viable solutions to organ disease or impairment. The New Organ Research Alliance focuses on the Bioengineering solution space in which we are helping to coordinate innovative research to solve the important challenges ahead.
Twelve overarching Challenge Topics have been identified for bioengineering research strategies. Additional Sub-Challenges or Milestones have been characterized for each of the main Challenge Topics to characterize specific hurdles that need to be addressed. Finally, the road-map also identifies Enabling Technologies that may help accelerate solutions to each Challenge Topic.
Five unique bioengineering Research Strategies are being pursued by researchers to help save lives of those with organ disease or impairment including: 3D Bioprinting, In Vitro Generation, In Vivo Regeneration, Scaffolding, and Xenotransplantation.
Each organ donor typically donates between 1 and 8 organs. Yet, over 200,000 people remain on the donor waiting list. There are three mechanisms that can help increase the number of donor organs available for transplant including: improving cryopreservation, improving organ transport, and increasing donations.
Mechanical replacement of organ functions (i.e. dialysis, pacemakers, etc.) provide a temporary stepping stone to biologic solutions. New developments are being pursued through three main research strategies: internal mechanical supports, external mechanical supports, and full organ mechanical replacements.
Twelve overarching bioengineering Challenge Topics have been identified that relate to one or more of the Research Strategies. Additional Sub-Challenges or Milestones have been characterized for each of the main Challenge Topics to add detail to specific hurdles that need to be addressed. Challenge Topics are fundamental scientific hurdles that need to be solved in order to create usable clinical solutions for patients in need (i.e. vascularization, innervation, integration). Many Challenge Topics cut across many tissue types and organs; however some noted are specific to an individual organ.
The road-map identifies Enabling Technologies that may help accelerate solutions to each Challenge Topic. Enabiling technologies include tools, techniques, or resources that have the potential to help solve or overcome a specified challenge. Enabling Technologies may come from any research field and are often not recognized as being assoiated with bioengineering (e.g. increased imaging resolution, computational mapping, artificial intelligence, microgravity, etc.).
To help coordinate efforts the New Organ Research Alliance organizes committees that focus on road-map Challenge Topics related to each organ. Although many of the overarching challenge topics are fundamental and relate to many, if not all, of the organs, there are also challenge topics that are specific to each organ itself. By organizing committees focused on each organ we can evaluate challenge topics as part of a cohesive strategy toward producing solutions for particular diseases, while also sharing information for common solutions across multiple organs.