Articles by Hannah A. Strobel in JoVE
Fabrication of Custom Agarose Wells for Cell Seeding and Tissue Ring Self-assembly Using 3D-Printed Molds Hannah A. Strobel1, Elizabeth L. Calamari1, Brittany Alphonse1, Tracy A. Hookway1,2, Marsha W. Rolle1 1Biomedical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2Gladstone Institute for Cardiovascular Disease This protocol describes a platform for fabricating self-assembled tissue rings in variable sizes using a customized 3D-printed plastic mold. PDMS negatives are cured in the 3D-printed mold; then agarose is cast in the cured PDMS negatives. Cells are seeded into the resulting agarose wells where they aggregate into tissue rings.
Other articles by Hannah A. Strobel on PubMed
Engineered Cartilaginous Tubes for Tracheal Tissue Replacement Via Self-assembly and Fusion of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Constructs Biomaterials. | Pubmed ID: 25818451 There is a critical need to engineer a neotrachea because currently there are no long-term treatments for tracheal stenoses affecting large portions of the airway. In this work, a modular tracheal tissue replacement strategy was developed. High-cell density, scaffold-free human mesenchymal stem cell-derived cartilaginous rings and tubes were successfully generated through employment of custom designed culture wells and a ring-to-tube assembly system. Furthermore, incorporation of transforming growth factor-β1-delivering gelatin microspheres into the engineered tissues enhanced chondrogenesis with regard to tissue size and matrix production and distribution in the ring- and tube-shaped constructs, as well as luminal rigidity of the tubes. Importantly, all engineered tissues had similar or improved biomechanical properties compared to rat tracheas, which suggests they could be transplanted into a small animal model for airway defects. The modular, bottom up approach used to grow stem cell-based cartilaginous tubes in this report is a promising platform to engineer complex organs (e.g., trachea), with control over tissue size and geometry, and has the potential to be used to generate autologous tissue implants for human clinical applications.
Cellular Self-Assembly with Microsphere Incorporation for Growth Factor Delivery Within Engineered Vascular Tissue Rings Tissue Engineering. Part A. | Pubmed ID: 27784202 Cellular self-assembly has been used to generate living tissue constructs as an alternative to seeding cells on or within exogenous scaffold materials. However, high cell and extracellular matrix density in self-assembled constructs may impede diffusion of growth factors during engineered tissue culture. In the present study, we assessed the feasibility of incorporating gelatin microspheres within vascular tissue rings during cellular self-assembly to achieve growth factor delivery. To assess microsphere incorporation and distribution within vascular tissue rings, gelatin microspheres were mixed with a suspension of human smooth muscle cells (SMCs) at 0, 0.2, or 0.6 mg per million cells and seeded into agarose wells to form self-assembled cell rings. Microspheres were distributed throughout the rings and were mostly degraded within 14 days in culture. Rings with microspheres were cultured in both SMC growth medium and differentiation medium, with no adverse effects on ring structure or mechanical properties. Incorporated gelatin microspheres loaded with transforming growth factor beta 1 stimulated smooth muscle contractile protein expression in tissue rings. These findings demonstrate that microsphere incorporation can be used as a delivery vehicle for growth factors within self-assembled vascular tissues.
Fabrication and Characterization of Electrospun Polycaprolactone and Gelatin Composite Cuffs for Tissue Engineered Blood Vessels Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part B, Applied Biomaterials. | Pubmed ID: 28383795 Sewing cuffs incorporated within tissue-engineered blood vessels (TEBVs) enable graft anastomosis in vivo, and secure TEBVs to bioreactors in vitro. Alternative approaches to cuff design are required to achieve cuff integration with scaffold-free TEBVs during tissue maturation. To create porous materials that promote tissue integration, we used electrospinning to fabricate cuffs from polycaprolactone (PCL), PCL blended with gelatin, and PCL coated with gelatin, and evaluated cuff mechanical properties, porosity, and cellular attachment and infiltration. Gelatin blending significantly decreased cuff ultimate tensile stress and failure strain over PCL alone, but no significant differences were observed in elastic modulus or failure load. Interestingly, gelatin incorporation by blending or coating did not produce significant differences in cellular attachment or pore size. We then created tissue tubes by fusing self-assembled smooth muscle cell rings together with electrospun cuffs on either end. After 7 days, rings and cuffs fused seamlessly, and the resulting tubes were harvested for pull-to-failure tests to measure the strength of cuff-tissue integration. Tubes with gelatin-coated PCL cuffs failed more frequently at the cuff-tissue interface compared to PCL and PCL:gelatin blended groups. This work demonstrates that electrospun cuffs integrated successfully with scaffold-free TEBVs, and that the addition of gelatin did not significantly improve cuff integration over PCL alone for this application. Electrospun cuffs may aid cannulation for dynamic culture and testing of tubular constructs during engineered tissue maturation. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 106B: 817-826, 2018.