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Maeve Kennedy

Hometown: Mesa, Arizona | Graduation Date: Spring 2020
Chemical Engineering

Electrospinning Nanoscaffolds to Serve as Implants to Induce Tissue Regeneration in Patients

Mentor: Vincent Pizziconi
FURI: Fall 2018

The research objective is to fabricate tunable electrospun nanoscaffolds and analyze their properties to determine if it is feasible to design an implantable 3D porous substrate to induce tissue regeneration for a specific individual in vivo. A polymer solution is propelled over an electric field under set conditions to form electrospun nanoscale fibers. Tensile testing and microscopy characterize key nanoscaffold properties for tissue regeneration. This research is important to clinical applications when directing the differentiation of cells in new tissue for patients. Future work includes the use of atomic force microscopy to determine individual fibers’ nanomechanical properties.

Other Projects

Mechanical Characterization of 3D Porous Electrospun Nanoscaffolds to Optimize Tissue Regenerative Response

Mentor: Vincent Pizziconi
GCSP: Spring 2018

Bioengineering the cell microenvironment is critical when developing cell-based therapeutic devices for regenerative medicine. The focus of this project is to characterize the micromechanical properties of 3D porous electrospun nanoscaffolds intended to serve as cell substrates and aimed to match an individual’s anatomy and tissue regenerative capacity. Nanoscaffolds electrospun from hydrogel polymer solutions were nanomechanically characterized using a custom test system with specialized grips to determine the ‘stiffness’ of scaffolds of different crosslinking densities. Once fully characterized, scaffolds can then be ‘tuned’ to elicit optimal tissue regeneration in patients. This research is important for the realization of precision medicine’s potential.