Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) are known internationally as the first in the world to successfully implant laboratory grown organs into humans. Today, they are working to apply their expertise in regenerative medicine in a variety of projects to help wounded warriors.

WFIRM Researchers Apply Regenerative Medicine to Battlefield Injuries

Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) are developing treatments that apply regenerative medicine to battlefield injuries. The research, aimed at aiding wounded warriors, is federally funded through the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine. Projects range from printing skin cells onto burn wounds to developing oxygen-generating materials to keep damaged tissue alive and promote healing.

Research Project Awards and Grant Highlights

Institute scientists have been selected to conduct numerous federally funded research projects aimed at developing new treatments for military personnel. Two of the largest are:

Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine II (AFIRM) is a $75 million effort that also has the potential to benefit the civilian population. Teams of scientists from almost 30 institutions are working to develop clinical therapies over the next five years that will focus on the following five areas:

  • Skin regeneration for burn injuries
  • Restoring function to severely traumatized limbs
  • Reconstruction for facial and skull injuries through tissue regeneration
  • New treatments to prevent rejection of "composite" transplants such as face and hands
  • Reconstruction of the genital and urinary organs and lower abdomen

"Body on a Chip" is a $24 million effort to accelerate the development of antidotes to chemical and biological weapons such as sarin or ricin. Funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the goal is to build a miniaturized system of human organ to model the body's responses to harmful agents and develop potential therapies