In Virginia, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and the University of Virginia School of Engineering & Applied Science are partnering up to explore and advance regenerative medicine technologies leveraging porcine (aka pig) bioproducts. The goal of this research is to develop and test a tissue-engineering process for skeletal muscle repair and regeneration using porcine-derived materials. Leveraging these porcine materials has its advantages because it can be muscle-specific prior to implantation and more easily accepted by the human body. Researchers will also conduct proof-of-concept studies, which are a critical step in pursuing clinical trials.
The research is part of a collaborative project between UVA and Smithfield Bioscience, a strategic business platform within Smithfield Foods that is focused on supporting a range of biotechnology solutions in areas of human therapeutics, tissue fabrication and regenerative medicine.