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Exploring 3D bio-printing technology for fabrication of cardiovascular tissue

Bristol Medical School

Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Congenital heart defects (CHD) are the primary cause of infant deaths. The primary treatment for CHD is surgery but the major problem with surgery for such defects is the lack of living replacement materials with the capacity of growth and regeneration. Many children need prosthetic replacement grafts in the form of new valves, conduits and patches, however although these grafts may be life-saving, they have limited durability and often require repeat operations in the future. Due to the lack of growth potential of the currently available grafts, a child born with congenital heart defects may typically need to undergo major cardiac surgery several times throughout their lifetime.

We believe that with the use of stem cells we will be able to devise a cardiovascular graft that will grow with the patient, thereby eradicating the need for additional cardiac surgery. This project explores the use of 3D bioprinting to produce a viable graft using different supporting materials, stem cells and biochemical environments.

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