Collagen is the most abundant protein in human bodies. Rigid tissues such as bones and teeth consist of mineralized collagen. While in soft tissues such as skin, corneas and blood vessels, collagen is also one of the main structural biopolymers. The existence of collagen in these tissues provides remarkable toughness and mechanical strength for them. This project aims to develop 3D bioprinting method to fabricate collagen-based artificial tissues for biomedical applications. The rheology and printability of bioinks containing collagen biopolymers will be investigated.
The applicant is expected to: (1) Review literature about the fundamental knowledge of collagen; (2) Extract collagen fibers from tissues using chemical methods; (3) Make collagen bioinks; (4) Perform basic 3D printing (direct ink writing) experiments and mechanical tests.
In this project, the applicant will be able to: (1) Learn the fundamental knowledge about collagen; (2) Know the basic chemistry and extraction technique of collagen fibers; (3) Learn how to make printable bioinks; (4) Get familiar with direct ink writing (DIW) 3D printing technique.