Date of Completion

Spring 4-28-2017

Thesis Advisor(s)

Syam Nukavarapu, Yen-Chih Huang

Honors Major

Biomedical Engineering




The field of tissue engineering focuses on delivering patient-derived stem cells to the body through the use of degradable biomaterials, such as hydrogels, which are infused into engineered scaffolds. Hydrogels act as templates to support and guide cells towards the regeneration of new tissue. In this study, we introduce a completely intraoperative procedure for obtaining a fibrin hydrogel for tissue engineering applications. In the past, fibrin hydrogel has been commonly formed by combining fibrinogen protein with animal-derived thrombin. Instead, we have developed an automated, and therefore reproducible, protocol to isolate and form fibrin hydrogel without the use of animal-derived thrombin. By substituting calcium for animal-derived thrombin, we engineer a completely autologous hydrogel that eliminates the risk of disease transmission, immunogenic response, and FDA regulation. After engineering the fibrin hydrogel, we characterized it as a supportive, sacrificial matrix, and then ultimately confirmed that hybrid hydrogel-PLGA scaffolds increase cell efficiency. First, cell viability studies confirmed that fibrin gel increases cell loading and retention as compared to the scaffold alone because the hydrogel helps “trap” cells. Then, confocal microscopy images depicted that the hydrogel serves as a supportive network for the cells to survive and grow in. Therefore, utilizing this patient-derived hydrogel as a sacrificial matrix within a scaffold increases cell efficiency, ultimately enhancing tissue regeneration therapies. This method can be effectively implemented to further develop completely intra-operative tissue engineering strategies (CITES) that can be easily translated into the clinic for patient use.

Included in

Biomaterials Commons