BME Seminar Series: Lawrence Bonassar, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University
Image-based Approaches to Cartilage Tissue Engineering Using Tissue Injection Molding and 3D Tissue Printing
Articulating structures in joints and spine rely on high degrees of congruity and precise anatomic tolerances to function properly. Our laboratory has focused on using tissue engineering methods to reproduce many types of cartilage with a focus on precise reconstruction of anatomic geometries. Specifically, we have applied MRI, CT, and 3D photogrammetry techniques to obtain high resolution images of cartilaginous tissues to inform the generation of tissue engineered implants. These 3D data sets are interfaced with tissue injection molding and 3D tissue printing technologies to pattern the co-deposition of cells and matrix for subsequent in vitro culture or implantation in vivo. Use of these tissue fabrication technologies requires new materials processing techniques to maintain cell viability while producing implants that are sufficiently rigid for culture or implantation. Alginate and high density collagen gels, both alone and in combination, have been applied to the generation of shaped articular cartilage, meniscus, intervertebral disc, and auricular cartilage. These techniques have shown great promise, generating tissues that match the biochemical composition and mechanical performance of native tissue after extended implantation in vivo.