Biomedical Engineering Program Acquires New Microfluidic-Based 3D Printer
LUCERO FIERRO | January 24, 2019
Binata Joddar, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso, received a $255,790 grant that will open doors for the acquisition of an advanced 3D bio-printer.
The award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) allows for a new 3D bio-printing platform will combine complex cell types into an integrated human body-on-a-chip that will serve as a model for the structure and function of the human body. These tissue chip devices will also help recreate and mimic the complex structure of real tissue, something that will help the industry understand disease development and genetic defects in human beings.
“Our goal is to use this advanced 3D printer and print tissues with high resolution to model developmental stages of tissues on a dish,” Joddar said. “This will open up a broad venue of opportunities for us.”
This multidisciplinary project will merge multiple fields such as bioengineering, stem cell technology, organ physiology and pathology and will provide students with access to cutting-edge teaching, research technologies and opportunities.
The project will also involve Thomas Boland, Ph.D., professor of metallurgical, materials and biomedical engineering; Namsoo (Peter) Kim, Ph.D., associate professor of metallurgical, materials and biomedical engineering; David Roberson, Ph.D., associate professor of metallurgical, materials and biomedical engineering; and Katja Michael, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Chemistry.
This 3D bio-printer will be used for multiple projects involving the College of Engineering, College of Science and College of Health Sciences such as the production of tissue-on-a-chip models of multilayered cardiac tissue and skin tissue engineering. It will help copy human tissue by creating a thin, high-resolution layer that will allow scientists to learn how the cells interact and signal each other.
This project will lead to new industry-academic collaborations that will benefit not only the scientific community at UTEP but also the industry nationwide by incorporating advanced and novel knowledge to existing or new courses, exposing nearly 100 students annually to this technology.
“This instrument will support multidisciplinary, team-based opportunities involving Engineering faculty at UTEP and faculty from other scientific disciplines and help establish new critical regional collaborations within the state of Texas and neighboring New Mexico,” Joddar said.