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Tissue Engineered Trachea

Image banner for Tissue Engineered Trachea project

Key Personnel

  • Diego Preciado, MD, PhD 
  • Joshua Bedwell, MD, PhD 
  • John Fisher, PhD
  • Ting Guo, MS

The objective of this project is to use a biocompatible material that has similar mechanical properties to cartilage and use this material to replace the damaged trachea in a mouse model. Based upon a poly-(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) mesh we have successfully fabricated scaffolds of the desired dimensions and mechanical properties. Initial studies have focused on the short-term viability of chondrocytes. These studies demonstrated that we can successfully fabricate scaffolds that are conducive for cell survival however the attachment efficiencies were lower than expected. We hypothesize that we can enhance the cell survival and attachment rate by modifying the PLGA scaffolds by providing cell adhesion motifs. To investigate this hypothesis we will fabricate PLGA scaffolds with a fibronectin coating (alternative coating and binding motifs such as RGD residues will be investigated if needed), assess adhesion and cell survival with Live/Dead assays, ensure long-term survival (>2 weeks), and assess protein production and gene expression of the seeded cells. These four aims will be used to gain an insight into the survival, proliferation, and functionality of chondrocytes and airway epithelial cells. Upon the successful completion of these aims, we can move forward with in-vivo testing.