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Integrating 3D Bioprinting and Nanomaterials for Complex Tissue Regeneration

Reporter: Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang, George Washington University, USA

Time: 2:30PM

Place: Room 410, Old Hydraulic Building


As an emerging tissue manufacturing technique, 3D bioprinting offers great precision and control of the internal architecture and outer shape of a scaffold, allowing for close recapitulation of complicated structures found in biological tissue. Cells within the human body are in intimate contact with a 3D nanostructured extracellular matrix composed of numerous organic and inorganic components. However, current 3D bioprinting techniques exhibit difficulty in achieving a nano resolution for clinically relevant constructs. Therefore, the main objective of our research is to develop novel biologically inspired nanomaterials and advanced 3D bioprinting techniques to fabricate the next generation of biomimetic complex tissue constructs (such as vascularized tissue, osteochondral tissue and neural tissue). For this purpose, we designed and synthesized innovative biologically inspired nanomaterials (i.e., smart self-assembly materials, conductive carbon nanomaterials, biocompatible nano hydroxyapatites, and bioactive factor loaded core-shell nanospheres). Through 3D bioprinting in our lab, a series of biomimetic tissue scaffolds with nano and micro features were successfully fabricated. Our results show that these 3D bioprinted nano scaffolds have not only improved mechanical properties but also excellent cytocompatibility properties for enhancing various cell growth and differentiation, thus promising for complex tissue regeneration.

Brief Introduction:

Dr. Lijie Grace Zhang is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Medicine at the George Washington University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Brown University in 2009. Dr. Zhang joined GW in 2010, after finishing her postdoctoral training at Rice University and Harvard Medical School. She is the director of the Bioengineering Laboratory for Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering at GW. She has received the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, ASME Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Award, Young Innovator in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, GW SEAS Outstanding Young Researcher Award, John Haddad Young Investigator Award by American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, GWU SEAS Faculty Recognition Award, Early Career Award from the International Journal of Nanomedicine, Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities Organization, Joukowsky Family Foundation Outstanding Dissertation Award at Brown and the Sigma Xi Award. Her research interests include nanobiomaterials, 3D bioprinting, complex tissue engineering, stem cell engineering, drug delivery and breast cancer bone metastasis. Dr. Zhang has authored 3 books, over 79 journal papers, book chapters and conference proceedings, 4 patents and has presented her work on over 200 conferences, university and institutes.