Our goal is to develop novel biodegradable polymer inks for 3D printing with user defined and tunable printability, stiffness, degradation, and bioactivity. Our motivation is the lack of diversity in biodegradable polymers available for 3D printing of scaffolds and medical devices. The available polymers (such as PLA and PCL) are mainly used to fabricate devices to fill space in vivo, where bioactivity is not required. In addition, these polymers offer limited tunability of their printability, stiffness, and degradation. In this project, we particularly focus on extrusion-based (melt and solution) and droplet-based (inkjet) printing technologies. This project is current funded by the National Science Foundation.
Polymer Development - Prof. Joachim Kohn (New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, Rutgers University)
This project focuses on developing novel bioink formulations for 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs. This is a continuous effort feeding new formulations to the ongoing organ printing projects in IBAM-Lab. Strictly determined by the application, we formulate cell-laden bioinks in various combinations of hydrogels, cells, decellularized extracellular matrix (ECM) components, growth factors, and ECM mimetic peptides.
In this project, we will develop, characterize, and design hydrogel structures to modulate cellular interactions over time, using an iterative feedback loop between experiment and theory. Molecular models of variations of local hydrogel structure will be connected to mesoscopic properties, such as the mechanical properties (i.e., Young's Modulus) of the gels during relevant degradation timescales.
Computation and Theory - Prof. Sharon M. Loverde (City University of New York, Staten Island)
We are developing biomaterial platforms with user defined and tunable properties (topography, stiffness, and bioactivity) that could serve as in vitro tissue and/or disease models. These tissue models could help us to better understand tissue development, ageing, disease development and disease progression as well as drug screening. We are currently interested in liver fibrosis, skin models (such as effects of ageing), and heart models. Our expertise is to develop these models. We develop strong collaborations to utilize our models.
Liver tissue models - Prof. Rebecca G. Wells (Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia)
Skin models - Prof. Fiona M. Watt (Kings College London, UK)
We are developing hybrid 3D scaffolds with multi-scale complexity for osteochondral interface engineering. Our ultimate goal is to create fully-functional, patient-specific grafts that will allow regeneration of osteochondral interface. More details to follow !!!