Professor: Lawrence Bonassar
Bioprinting, or the use of 3D printing technology to produce scaffolds and cellularized tissue constructs, is becoming prominent in the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine fields. Collagen, a natural polymer predominant in almost all biological tissues, is a promising bioink, or printing material, due to its biocompatibility and temperature-dependent gelation. Our lab has previously found that the printability of acellular collagen bioinks can be improved by altering collagen concentration or pH. However, one of the goals of bioprinting is to incorporate cells into the printed constructs and it is unclear how the incorporation of cells would affect bioink printability. It is also unclear how the cell concentration within the bioink could impact cell viability after printing and construct mechanical properties. The student working on this project will be responsible for understanding the effect of cell content on bioink rheology and characterizing cell viability as a function of bioink composition. Ideally students will be majoring in biomedical engineering or have biology experience and majoring in mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, or materials science and engineering. An ideal student would also have completed coursework in fluid mechanics, biomaterials, and cell biology and have experience with mammalian cell culture and polymer rheology.