The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Matthew Remy, a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering, a F31 grant to support his dissertation project, “Bone Regeneration Induced by the Sustained Release of Osteoinductive microRNAs from 3D-printed Constructs.”
Liu Hong, professor in the Iowa Institute for Oral Health Research, is Remy’s mentor. This project is part of a larger program of research into bone regeneration strategies and approaches conducted at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. Bone grafting is a common strategy that uses transplanted bone to repair and rebuild diseased or damaged bones, but there is a limited supply of this natural bone material and it is difficult to manage the fit between the bone material and the damaged site. Synthetic grants address the limitations in supply, but the construction of the graft’s scaffold, its fit with the damaged site, and the regenerative properties of the synthetic material need to be improve for it to be a successful alternative to natural bone graft.
Remy’s project addresses these limitations by developing a biodegradable, 3D-printed scaffold that has strong regenerative properties for bone tissue. The 3D-printed scaffold will be tailored to the specific contours of the damaged site, and thus, address the challenges facing both natural and synthetic grants, and the use of these scaffolds to sustain release of specific kinds of microRNA that are significantly associated with improved bone regeneration will result in a synthetic graft that is far more effective than other synthetic grafts at regenerating bone tissue.
Remy developed this project while working on the T90 training grant with support from Brad Amendt, Steve Levy, and David Drake.