Student NameTran Ngo
Faculty Mentor NameDr. Christine E. Schmidt
CollegeCollege of Engineering
MajorBiomedical Engineering
MinorHealth Disparities in Society
Research InterestsTissue Engineering, Stem Cell, Retinal Macular Degeneration
Academic AwardsFlorida Academic Scholar, Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars , McNair Scholars
OrganizationsFlorida Alternative Breaks, B.MEntors, Westside Samaritans Clinic
Hobbies and InterestsTennis, Soccer, Traveling

Research Project

Biomaterials for 3D Bioprinting in Tissue Engineering

Peripheral nerve injury is a frequent occurrence affecting a considerable percentage of trauma patients annually. Current methods are not able to bridge large nerve injury gaps in a way that restores both motor and sensory function comparable to the uninjured nerve. 3D bioprinting of natural ECM-based bioinks such as hyaluronic acid (HA) can be used to provide structural and architectural support to regenerating nerves. HA is attractive as a bioink because it plays a natural role in wound healing in the body and is FDA-approved for other medical applications. Tran’s research has been focused on fabrication and characterization of HA-based hydrogel scaffolds as a potential bioink for 3D bioprinting that has been mechanically matched to native peripheral nerve tissue. She will also 3D bio-print Schwann cells with the optimized HA-collagen hydrogel to mimic the microenvironment of native tissue and embed microarchitecture into the scaffolds to support axonal elongation and nerve regeneration.