Date of Completion


Embargo Period



bone, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, progenitor cells, vascularization, mesenchymal stem cells, scaffold, pore size

Major Advisor

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin

Co-Major Advisor

Dr. Syam P. Nukavarapu

Associate Advisor

Dr. Yusuf Khan

Associate Advisor

Dr. Mina Mina

Associate Advisor

Dr. Barbara Kream

Field of Study

Biomedical Science


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Bone tissue engineering has been proposed as a more effective and efficient alternative option for bone repair and regeneration. Here, we propose a two-pronged approach for enhance scaffold-guided bone regeneration. Second to developing optimized PLGA optimally-porous scaffolds, we will pre-vascularize our constructs in vitro in order to reduce vascularization time, and enhance bone formation in vivo. We will pre-vascularize our constructs by seeding and culturing them with a combination of two cell populations required for angiogenesis and osteogenesis: peripheral blood derived -endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and bone marrow derived -mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Previous studies have demonstrated EPCs and MSCs promote enhanced bone regeneration via the stimulation of neo-vascularization. We will systematically examine of the combination of these two required cell populations and the optimally-porous PLGA scaffolds, and the resultant effects on healing critically sized segmental bone defects. We hypothesize that our pre-vascularized, optimally-porous PLGA scaffolds will substantially improve the performance of PLGA microsphere scaffolds by promoting angiogenesis, and significantly enhancing bone formation in vivo.