3D Bioprinting of
Disease Modeling &
Drug Screening Platforms
This research is primarily centered on extensive use of human iPSC technology. We use 3D bioprinting to create 3D vascular tissue constructs that can be subsequently perfused using a customized bioreactor system. We use these vascular tissue platforms for a variety of disease modeling and drug screening applications:
Pediatric cardiac disease: Using the vascular tissue model to study congenital heart defects; hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
Pediatric cancer modeling: In collaboration with multiple labs at Biomedical Engineering Department and Emory Cancer Institute, we are working on employing our perfusable vascular model to study pediatric neuroblastoma and potential small molecular regulators of this tumor (as potential anticancer therapies).
A. Pediatric Cardiovascular Disease Modeling
A.1 Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
By employing 3D bioprinting, perfusion bioreactor, and human iPSC technologies, we are working on development of disease-specific, 3D vascular platforms to model a variety of pediatric disease including the HLHS.
Human iPSCs are obtained from healthy and HLHS donors, differentiated into cardiac cells (cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells), and seeded in 2D and 3D cultures. A 3D bioprinter is used to create 3D vascular tissue constructs that can be perfused using a bioreactor. By applying different flow rates/regimens, we recapitulate the impaired flow conditions in the developing heart in HLHS children and study how flow-induced mechanosensation may result in abnormal cardiac tissue growth and function.
B. Pediatric Cancer Modeling
B.1 Pediatric Neuroblastoma
We recently embarked on a collaboration with multiple labs in Emory-GT Biomedical Engineering Department (Dr. Wilbur Lam) and Emory Cancer Institute (Dr. Robert Schnepp), using 3D bioprinting technology to create perfusable tumor microenvironments to study various pediatric cancers. Our first model has focused on recapitulating pediatric neuroblastoma microenvironment in vitro, and studying potential role of molecular regulators of these tumors as potential anticancer therapies.