Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Lactoferrin, hydrogel, biomaterial, osteogenesis, tissue engineering

Major Advisor

Lakshmi S. Nair

Associate Advisor

Cato Laurencin

Associate Advisor

Mina Mina

Associate Advisor

Barbara Kream

Associate Advisor

Yusuf Khan

Field of Study

Biomedical Science


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The bidirectional signaling of lactoferrin (LF) that suppresses osteoclastogenesis and enhances osteoblast proliferation and survival supports the notion that LF is a strong candidate for bone tissue engineering. The proposed studies were aimed to increase our understanding of the effect of recombinant human LF (rhLF) in modulating skeletal cells and further establish rhLF crosslinked gel as an excellent candidate for a skeletal regenerative biomaterial.

In situ formation of injectable biomaterials has several advantages as cell delivery vehicles. In this study, the biological properties rhLF were utilized as the building block, to develop the engineered cell delivery system. These studies reported the development of a novel injectable cell delivery vehicle that can significantly improve cell survival and osteogenic functions by serving as a biomaterial ligand to induce receptor mediated cell signaling of encapsulated cells. Furthermore, the bioactive rhLF gel matrix was shown to promote cell survival, proliferation and differentiation. The positive effects of rhLF gel on cellular processes supports the notion that rhLF gel is a strong candidate for bone tissue engineering.