Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Bioengineered 3-D tissue constructs have great potential for understanding tissue development and tissue repair in patients lacking functional organs. One of the major challenges faced in the field, however, is to build functional tissue constructs that resemble tissue found in vivo. Cells and tissues in the body are organized into three-dimensional architectures, which interact with fibrillar extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins at a nanoscale. Both the topology and elasticity of the ECM play critical roles in regulating tissue formation. Alginate, a naturally occurring polysaccharide, is a good candidate to use as a biomaterial to mimic the topography and elasticity of the ECM. In this study, the feasibility of synthesizing 3-D alginate microtubes, nanofibers and microbeads that simulate the elasticity and topography of the ECM has been investigated. Using a series of techniques, we fabricated tissue constructs with varying shapes, sizes, and elasticities. 3-D alginate microtubes, nanofibers, and microbeads were synthesized through the processes of microfluidics, electrospinning, and electrodroplet, respectively. The experiments conducted throughout this project provide a fundamental platform for bioengineering artificial salivary glands in future studies for patients who suffer from xerostomia (dry mouth) and salivary gland hypofunction.
Graham, Barbana A., "Bioengineering Tissue Constructs Using Elastic Alginate Hydrogels" (2010). Biological Sciences. 6.