Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Joel Bumgardner

Committee Member

Tomoko Fujiwara

Committee Member

Jessica Amber Jennings

Committee Member

William M Mihalko


High-energy combat-related extremity injuries to both bone and soft tissue from improvised explosive devices are one of the signature injury patterns suffered by US Servicemen during modern the military engagements. Even with bone healing and adequate management of infection, a significant number of battlefield-injured military personnel have returned from combat with persistent functional deficits. Tissue engineering holds immense promise for regenerative medicine by providing innovative solutions for repairing and replacing damaged tissues. In this study, we present two significant advancements in tissue engineering: the development of a novel bio-ink for muscle tissue constructs and the investigation of drug-loaded membranes for guided bone regeneration. The first aspect of our research focuses on the formulation and characterization of a photopolymerizable N-MAC-PEGDMA 3D printable ink integrated with aligned electrospun collagen fibers. This ink demonstrates good printability and cytocompatibility, offering precise control over architectural features and promoting muscle cell alignment and growth within 3D constructs. Through microscopy and staining analyses, we observed a steady proliferation of cells within the scaffold, with the formation of aligned cell colonies indicating successful guidance for cell alignment provided by the collagen fibers. These findings demonstrate that the bio-ink exhibits favorable self-supporting behavior, stable printing, and significant alignment capabilities that suggest a potential treatment for VML. The second aspect of our study focused on developing drug-loaded membranes for guided bone regeneration using electrospun chitosan. We investigated the combined loading of Raspberry Ketone (RK) and Simvastatin (SMV) into these membranes to enhance bone healing by stimulating macrophage polarization and osteogenesis respectively. While the dual loaded membranes showed minimal ectopic bone formation and comparable bone mineral density to collagen-BMP-2 groups, they exhibited lower percent bone fill. Future research will explore optimizing drug dosages or addressing potential antagonistic effects to improve outcomes. In conclusion, our research presents novel approaches for tissue engineering, with the development of a bio-ink for muscle constructs and the investigation of drug-loaded membranes for bone regeneration. These advancements offer promising avenues for addressing the challenges in regenerative medicine and improving patient outcomes.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Embargoed until 10/10/2024

Available for download on Thursday, October 10, 2024