Physics Colloquium: Biomanufacturing in Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Dr. Stella Alimperti, School of Medicine, Georgetown University
Abstract: Research in Alimperti’s laboratory at Georgetown University aims to integrate medicine and technology within a single framework for potential therapeutic purposes of bone, skin, and cancer diseases. Approximately half of American adults are affected by them, with an estimated collective cost to the healthcare system of over $442 billion. The development of new therapeutics has been challenged due to conventional two-dimensional (2D) in vitro models, which lack the three-dimensional (3D) spatiotemporal and multicellular structure and functionality of those tissues. In addition, in vivo animal models are cost-demanding, laborious, and highly risky owing to the inherent deficiency in cross-species extrapolation. To overcome these limitations, in Alimperti’s lab, we employ a multidisciplinary research program that encompasses 3D printing, organ-on-a-chip technologies, and molecular biology to build preclinical disease models, which recapitulate organ pathology and work as diagnostic platforms for therapeutic purposes. As a proof of concept, in the current presentation, we will demonstrate a novel 3D printed in vitro microfluidic model named bone-on-a-chip, which has been utilized to mimic interstitial pressure forces and to elucidate interepithelial adhesion mechanisms that maintain or disrupt barrier function in tissues. Finally, we demonstrate the development of novel 3D-printed bone grafts by developing novel additive manufacturing approaches and biomaterials that enhance tissue regeneration and host-graft integration. Overall, the microfluidics and 3D printing approaches may pave the way to develop new therapeutics and engineer 3D scaffolds with tunable pre-defined properties, which will enhance graft-host integration in various anatomic locations.