Journal of Undergraduate Research


cell attachment, alginate hydrogel structures, transplantable organs


Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Chemical Engineering


One of the most pressing needs within the medical community is the demand for transplantable organs. On average, 22 people per day on average die waiting for a transplant. Even if a patient receives an organ, the risks associated with the transplant are high, from the immunosuppressant drugs required to the risk of Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). If organs could be engineered using a patient’s own cellular material, transplants could take place without the risk of GvHD or the need for immunosuppressants. One of the keys to creating any organ is first building a vascular network that could provide vital nutrients to any surrounding tissue. Our group is working to create fully functional and patient-specific blood vessels in vitro using a 3D printer. Our specialized 3D printer would print a scaffold that would then be seeded with a patient’s own cells to create a viable vascular tissue.