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Collaborative Success Stories: Need a Tissue?

A new method of tissue engineering could be scaled up to help patients in need.

Manufactured tissues can help patients needing bone repair, women recovering from mastectomies, those with diabetes-related wounds and many others. However, currently there is not enough manufactured tissue to meet clinical demands.

Now, University of Missouri bioengineer Elizabeth Loboa is investigating a new method of manufacturing tissue that is scalable and cost effective. A process called electrospinning has skyrocketed in popularity for tissue engineering applications. This process implements an electric field to create very thin fibers. However, this process can result in fibers with inconsistent dimensions and is costly to scale up.

Loboa worked with scientists from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University to test three processes—meltblowing, spunbonding and carding—commonly used to create nonwoven fabrics. They found that all three methods were effective in creating the scaffolds needed to grow tissue, at a significant cost savings relative to electrospinning.

The next step is to see if the tissues created by these new methods can be used successfully in animals for wound care and other needs. If so, Loboa’s work could be a step toward improved treatments for humans.

Dr. Elizabeth Loboa is dean of the MU College of Engineering with research expertise in biomaterials, stem cells and regenerative medicine.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine