Bone Tissue Engineering

Close ups of scaffolds

Engineering and biology are a match made in heaven when it comes to medicine, which explains why Dr. Amy Yousefi (CPB) and Dr. Paul James (Biology) make such a good team.

Both have been collaborating for several years researching bone tissue engineering. The pair has been designing and testing several different scaffold compositions/architectures for their ability to support bone cell growth and differentiation. They recently received a grant for over $350,000 from the National Institute of Health (NIH) for their project entitled ‘Hierarchal Composite Constructs as Tissue Engineering Scaffolds.’

Yousefi and James will develop hierarchical nanocomposite scaffolds for bone regeneration. The porous network within these scaffolds will be produced by a 3-D printer. The scaffolds will contain human cells that can be stimulated to develop into bone cells. Using technology, these scaffolds are created to support bone growth under physiological loading conditions. The outcome will be to find the optimal scaffold architecture and composition for the treatment of bone defects.

The incidences of bone fractures are increasing with the aging of the population and current military conflicts, thus creating a need for new bone tissue engineering alternatives.

They will perform research partially described in their published paper (accessible here) and hope to continue beyond the three year period of the award. As a long term goal, they’d like to extend their experiments to include animal models.