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Fabrication of endothelialized capillary-like channel networks in cell-laden hydrogels using sacrificial microfibers

Primary Investigators:
Leon Bellan
 
Brief Description of Project:
Using sacrificial fibrous networks formed using a cotton candy machine, we form 3D microfluidic networks in biocompatible hydrogels. These microfluidic networks will be lined with endothelial cells and serve as artificial capillary beds that can provide nutrients to thick artificial tissues.

Desired Qualifications: 
We are looking for highly motivated undergraduate researchers who would like hands-on experience working with soft biomaterials.

In particular, prospective students should should have:
-Interest in interdisciplinary engineering and science
-Interest in hands on experimental work
-Good time management
-Experience with data analysis (ie Matlab)
-Interest in learning cell characterization techniques/microscopy/non-traditional microfabrication 

Nature of Supervision:
Student will work directly with a graduate student and be mentored by Prof. Leon Bellan and the graduate student
 
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
(1) Week 1 - Literature survey, Lab training, Safety Training
(2) Week 1-5 – Microfiber spinning, microfluidic hydrogel fabrication 
(3) Week 5-10 – Fluorescence widefield and confocal microscopy, cell culture and characterization 

Number of Open Slots: 2
 
Contact Information:
Name: Leon Bellan
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Email: Leon.Bellan@vanderbilt.edu