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2009 Research Infrastructure Improvement Grant.

UIID-NSF: 1416


Proposal Title: 2009 Research Infrastructure Improvement Institution: South Carolina Research Authority The South Carolina 2009 NSF EPSCoR RII proposal unites Claflin, Clemson, MUSC, SC State University, and USC and presents an integrated plan to implement a statewide vision that will give South Carolina a competitive edge in the field of biofabrication ?an emerging ?transforming? technology ? operationally defined as computer-aided, layer-by-layer deposition of biologically relevant material with the purpose of engineering functional 3D tissues and organs. The proposed Research Plan to engineer a 3D vascular tree is divided into five ?thrust? areas. Thrust I focuses on analysis of structural-functional properties of an authentic (natural) branched vascular tree. Thrust II focuses on directed differentiation of adult stem cells into monomer units of vascular cell types, specifically to induce stem cells isolated from fat tissue to enter a smooth muscle cell lineage. Thrust III requires functional biomechanical testing of engineered, sequential segments and comparison to naturally occurring (authentic) branched vascular trees. Thrust IV is biofabrication of a branched vascular tree; that is to create linear 3-D, hollow tubular segments representing branches that can be transformed into branched ?Y? or ?T? vascular units. Thrust V focuses on accelerated tissue maturation of bioprinted, branched vascular tubes. Intellectual Merit. A major challenge in tissue engineering is the ability to maintain viability of large masses of cells or tissue constructs upon transfer from in vitro culture conditions to in vivo hosts. Most current efforts focus on rapid fabrication of solid scaffolds, or on 2D and 3D cell biopatterning. Less emphasis has been placed on applying the principles of developmental biology and the fundamental biological process of cell and tissue self-assembly. The proposed infrastructure enhancements are essential components for engineering branched, lumenized tubules that can be scaled up (industrialized) to assemble in the future a functional, branched vascular tree, addressing perhaps the greatest obstacle to successful engineering of tissue and organ replacements. Broader Impacts. Proposed RII activities will lead to: (1) innovative partnerships for training a new workforce in an emerging high tech, high impact industry; (2) dissemination and public education regarding advances and breakthroughs at the interface of engineering, science, and computation; (3) academic-industrial collaborations in developing and improving prototype devices for bioprinting, bioreactors, and biomechanical quantitation; (4) a vanguard position in a new S andT field that is truly global, unfettered by geographical, cultural and historic boundaries, with prime opportunities to attract underrepresented groups into a new field at the cusp of bioengineering, computation and biomedical science; and (5) opportunities for social sciences and other professional disciplines to evaluate and integrate ethical, legal, social and economic implications of ultimately implanting biofabricated replacement tissues and organs. These considerations highlight the importance of a highly science-literate, well informed press corps and public in order to understand and fairly represent multiple sides of complex issues.

Other Details

  • Award Instrument: Cooperative Agreement
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Organization: South Carolina Research Authority
  • Other Investigators: Christine Curtis, David Bogen, Edward Hawrot, Jennifer Specker, Mary Sullivan, R. Dooley, Roger Markwald, S. Bradley Moran, Sheila Adamus Liotta, Timothy Little, Yiming Ji
  • Primary Investigator: Prakash Nagarkatti
  • Start Date: 07/01/2009