Project Details


The goal of this project is to establish a new frontier in bioprinting science and technology. This will be accomplished by studying the bioprinting of bone tissue directly into a defect site on an animal model. The research in this study will have a direct impact on the first-time bioprinting of living cells and nucleic acid loaded in polymers in surgery settings for bone tissue fabrication, which will benefit society by working toward the establishment of an alternative solution for skull defects. Skull defects are devastating and affect millions of people each year; about 7%, or 227,500, of the children born each year in the United States are affected by birth defects in the skull. Bioprinting in surgery settings will eventually be applied to other organs and will considerably improve quality of life for the affected people. Broader-impact activities will include training, education, and participation of underrepresented populations in summer camps and workshops, as well as the integration of next-generation bioprinting science into both graduate and undergraduate education.

The research objectives of this project are three-fold: 1) to understand bioprinting behavior of a composite bioink, 2) to determine the effects of bioprinting and the bioink parameters on the release profile and the transfection efficiency of plasmid, and 3) to understand bioprintability of porous tissue constructs in defects and establish the relationship between the manufacturing conditions of tissue constructs and bone tissue formation. Accomplishing these objectives will allow the exploration of advanced bioprinting technologies in operating rooms. In this project, the following tasks will be performed. First, a novel composite bioink (reinforced with collagen, stem cells, a thermo-sensitive gel, and plasmid) will be processed and characterized to research its bioprinting behavior. Then, bioprinting of plasmid will be studied to understand the role of bioprinting and the bioink parameters on sequential release and transfection efficiency of plasmid. Next, in situ multi-arm bioprinting will be studied to investigate manufacturability of multiple tissue constructs in critical-size cranial defects in rat models. Finally, the regenerated bone tissue, bioprinted under various manufacturing conditions, will be characterized and quantified using tissue histology and micro-computed tomography.

Effective start/end date8/17/1512/31/18


  • National Science Foundation: $310,947.00


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