BME PhD Proposal Seminar: Karla Mercado
Using High Frequency Ultrasound to Characterize Three-Dimensional Engineered Tissues
Supervised by Prof. Diane Dalecki
The overall goal of my project is to develop high frequency ultrasound technologies to nondestructively characterize structural, biological, and mechanical properties of three-dimensional (3-D) engineered tissues. Structural properties include cell concentration, cellular organization, and collagen fiber structure; biological processes include cell migration and cell viability; and mechanical properties include tissue shear modulus. Engineered tissues enable the repair or replacement of impaired native tissues. However, the lack of quantitative measurement and monitoring techniques to characterize the properties of 3-D engineered tissues has hampered advancements in tissue engineering. Histology and direct mechanical tests are currently the standard techniques to assess engineered tissues. However, these techniques destroy tissues and, therefore, lack the capability for real-time monitoring. Thus, there is a need for nondestructive, quantitative techniques to characterize engineered tissues. I hypothesize that high frequency quantitative ultrasound techniques can reliably characterize properties of engineered tissues. To test my hypothesis, I propose the following specific aims: (1) Develop high frequency ultrasound techniques to quantify structural properties, and monitor biological processes, of 3-D engineered tissues; (2) Develop high frequency ultrasound techniques to quantitatively characterize collagen fiber structure in acellular, 3-D hydrogels; and (3) Develop a high frequency ultrasound elastographic technique to quantify mechanical properties of acellular, 3-D collagen hydrogels. The successful completion of this project will result in quantitative ultrasound tools that will enable nondestructive characterization of 3-D engineered tissues. Such tools will guide the development of functional engineered tissues for applications in regenerative medicine.