Approximately 30 million Americans are afflicted by type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Glucose and advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) have been shown to be associated with the degenerating effects of T2DM, especially those responsible for the higher incidence of osteoporotic fractures. However, much remains unknown about how these biomolecules tie into the pathology of the disease. Therefore, an in vitro model of the T2DM microenvironment is being developed to gain further understanding on how these biomolecules affect osteogenesis. Different concentrations of glucose and AGEs were studied in cell culture for 28 days. Cell morphology and differentiation into osteoblasts was then evaluated.
The research team is developing a novel 3D printed hydrogel-based bioinks aimed at improving the understanding of and replicating the biochemical and biophysical cues required for musculoskeletal tissue function and prevention of further tissue degeneration. The research team has successfully assembled a working off-the-shelf 3D printer and converted it into a bioprinter capable of extruding water droplets at a controlled rate. The immediate goal is to print hydrogels that are crosslinked in situ (during extrusion). Then cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions within these hydrogels will be studied in a simple 3D lattice geometry.