ENGR3640 Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering is often defined as growing or regenerating tissues. To grow engineered tissues requires an understanding of the cell and tissue biology as well as understanding of how culture conditions (transport of oxygen and biochemical factors, application of mechanical forces, etc.) affect the growing tissues. This course will begin with an overview of developmental biology and the types of biochemical and biophysical cues cells receive and respond to during development that direct them to form specific tissues, followed by an overview of the larger field of tissue engineering. We will discuss cell source, the use of natural or synthetic biomaterials, development of bioreactors, the use of biochemical supplements, as well as motivations and applications of engineered tissues from replacement of damaged tissues to models of tissue function. The bulk of this course will be dedicated to the design, implementation, and analysis of experiments to grow engineered tissues. This will be an intensive lab-based course in which groups of students will choose the particular aspect of tissue engineering (e.g. scaffold choice, biochemical culture conditions, mechanical stimulation, functional readouts) they would like to pursue and perform their own experiments and analysis (e.g. biochemical, mechanical, histological). Some lab experience required.