What is the overall goal of your project?
Our overall project goal is to develop three-dimensional (3D), anatomical-size tissue constructs with relevant physical and chemical properties to be used as disease models.

Which grand challenge are you addressing?
This project addresses the engineering grand challenge “Engineer the Tools of Scientific Discovery” by developing anatomical-size tissue construct using additive biomanufacturing (3D bioprinting). 3D bioprinting is a promising technique to fabricate medical devices and implants with geometrical complexity at high precision. This project will help in further understanding the significance of 3D printed disease models and provide a novel step-up towards enhancing our approach in regenerative medicine.

What is the key challenge your project is trying to solve?
Current screening techniques for new drugs are prolonged and arduous with lengthy biological trials to be approved for clinical use. Development of disease models is seen to be an excellent alternative to the laborious screening. However, it is difficult to mimic the intricate architecture of tissues for drug screening. This project addresses the challenges in the development of 3D-bioprinted human-scale tissue constructs using polymeric hydrogels. Such 3D printed construct will be used as disease models for drug screening.

What is the impact on society your project has?
This project will provide practical knowledge on the development of strategies and raw materials to be used for successful additive manufacturing of disease models. These human scale models will mimic tissue characteristics and can suitably allocate the need for faster drug screening. With faster drug screening, the availability of new drugs on the market would be rapidly feasible, thus enhancing medical care across the globe.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Akhilesh Gaharwar, Asst. Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Engineering majors targeted: BMEN, CHEN, MEEN, ECEN, CSCE