Development of a vascularisation model for the growth and proliferation of large adipose tissue.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Materials


This project aims to develop 3D printed complex viable and perfusable vascular networks within adipose tissue for application in breast tissue reconstruction following mastectomy. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK and part of the treatment requires invasive surgery called mastectomy. Following mastectomy reconstruction can be integral part of the patient's healing process. Current post-mastectomy reconstructive options are associated with many complications. Tissue engineered adipose tissue using the patient's own adipose stem cells offers a desired alternative, however absence of viable and perfusable blood vessels is a hurdle for the development of successful engineered tissues. Novel 3D printing methodology will be designed using a copolymer (pluronic) as a sacrificial material. 3D filament networks of pluronic will be printed and then coated with Gelatin-Methacrylate (a biocompatible hydrogel) combined with adipose stem cells. The cylindrical channels formed once pluronic is removed, will be cultured with endothelial cells (vessel lining cells) using static and bioreactor culture methods to form complex and perfusable vascular networks within the fat tissue. Upon implantation the engineered vascularised adipose tissue will connect to patient's vasculature and be sustained throughout their life.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509565/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1881729 Studentship EP/N509565/1 18/09/2017 31/12/2021 Chrisoula Chappell
EP/R513131/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
1881729 Studentship EP/R513131/1 18/09/2017 31/12/2021 Chrisoula Chappell
Description During my research, I have been completing a lot of out reach activities with The Brilliant club and as a STEM ambassador. In both occasions I have taught school children and sixth form pupils the aim of my project and what impact it will have in the future.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Education
Impact Types Societal