Scholarship@UMass Lowell

Gulden Camci-Unal, Ph.D, American Heart Association Grant

Gulden Camci-Unal, Ph.D, American Heart Association Grant


Regenerative tissue engineering that combines biomaterials with cells offers a promising therapy for addressing the tissue loss resulting from cardiovascular disease. Current tissue engineering models are, however, unable to provide sufficient oxygen into thick and highly vascular tissues such as the cardiac muscle in a sustained fashion. We propose to design and implement an oxygen-releasing biomaterial that will administer oxygen over extended periods of time (up to three weeks) to the cardiac tissue. Oxygen-releasing biomaterials represent a first step towards creating functional tissues that are of physiologically-relevant sizes with a well-connected blood supply, therefore, they are expected to improve patient outcomes. We anticipate that the results of this proposal will yield in a new technology that can ultimately lead to fabrication of off-the-shelf functional cardiovascular tissue products (e.g. cardiac patches) and improve patient care. Oxygen-releasing biomaterials will inspire the development of tissue-engineered constructs with clinically relevant sizes at the centimeter scale and enable the translation of bench protocols to the bedside. In addition to improving regeneration of cardiovascular tissues, oxygen-releasing biomaterials could also be used in fabrication of scaffolds for wound healing, and for cell types that have high metabolic activity such as neurons, insulin-producing cells, and skeletal muscle cells.

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