Honorable Mention - Matthew Bury

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Research Associate, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Department of Urology

Children suffering from spina bifida, a developmental disorder, often have underdeveloped bladders, which can cause urine leakage and kidney damage. To alleviate these symptoms, surgical reconstruction of the bladder using a piece of intestine is often needed. At Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Bury and his colleagues have been looking for a better surgical approach. In place of intestine, a thin biological material called small intestinal submucosa (SIS) is coupled with a gel-like material called peptide amphiphile (PA), which promotes healing.

In this image, a rat bladder is stained to show the incorporation of the SIS (dark blue) in the bladder wall, while smooth muscle cells (red) move into the regenerating area.