Harald Ott, M.D.

Physician Investigator (Cl)
Surgery, Mass General Research Institute
Associate Professor of Surgery, Part-time
Harvard Medical School
Associate Visiting Surgeon
Thoracic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
Charles and Sara Fabrikant MGH Research Scholar 2015-2020
Massachusetts General Hospital
Principal Faculty
Harvard Stem Cell Institute
MD Leopold-Franzens University 2000
bioartificial organs; bioengineering; extracellular matrix; guided tissue regeneration; lung; lung transplantation; myoblasts, skeletal; perfusion; regeneration; stem cell transplantation; tissue engineering; tissue scaffolds

End organ failure is the leading health care challenge in the Western World. Nearly six million Americans suffer from heart failure with about 550,000 new cases diagnosed annually; 25 million Americans suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with an estimated 12 million new yearly diagnoses; and 530,000 Americans suffer from end stage renal disease.

Currently, organ transplantation is the only potentially curative therapy available. However, its outcomes are limited by shortage of donor organs and the side effects of harsh immunosuppressive treatments designed to prevent the body from rejecting the organ.

The Ott Laboratory is investigating tissue engineered organs as an alternative to donor transplantation. The goal is to create various whole organs that are derived from a patient’s own cells, and transplanting them into patients, avoiding the need for a donor. This process could address the donor shortages and eliminate the need for immunosuppressive drugs.

The Ott Laboratory developed and first reported a novel technique to isolate the whole organ extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffolds by a process called perfusion decellularization.

In preliminary studies, these ECM scaffolds supported engraftment of specialized cells to form viable and functional hearts, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, and composite tissue that could be transplanted and function in the body.

Research website Publications Clinical Profile

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