BME Distinguished Lecture Series: Polymer Strategies in Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering, Dr.Elizabeth M. Cosgriff-Hernandez, The University of Texas at Austin

Monday, February 13, 2023
12:00 pm to 12:50 pm
Floor/Room #



Elizabeth M. Cosgriff-Hernandez, PhD 

Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Cullen Trust for Higher Education Endowed Professorship in Engineering

The University of Texas at Austin 




Abstract: Over one million surgical procedures are performed each year to treat bone defects with an associated medical cost over 5 billion dollars. Current procedures are fraught with problems that limit clinical success from fixation challenges in osteoporotic bone to replicating form factor in craniomaxillofacial reconstruction to infection control in traumatic injuries. Each indication requires a tailored strategy to restore function and guide regeneration. Our laboratory specializes in the development of polymeric biomaterials that meet the design criteria of each regeneration strategy. One particular area of interest is the treatment of fractures using an injectable, bone void filler. Current bone cements do not adequately support bone healing and lead to poor clinical outcomes. Our laboratory has developed a novel emulsion templating methodology to generate injectable, high porosity bone void fillers that cure to rigid foams at body temperature with compressive properties in the range of trabecular bone. We have enhanced the regenerative capacity of these synthetic grafts by mixing the emulsion with autograft particles. Recently, we have utilized this biomaterial platform to develop emulsion inks for 3D printing. Emulsions inks are rapidly cured after deposition by constant UV irradiation to form rigid constructs with interconnected porosity in a method we term Cure-on-Dispense printing. 3D printed constructs benefit from the tunable pore structure of emulsion-templated materials and the fine control over complex geometries of 3D printing that is not possible with traditional manufacturing techniques. A cell-releasing hydrogel was then developed to provide osteogenic potential and enhance the regeneration of these 3D printed scaffolds. Finally, we have utilized advanced electrospinning techniques to create bone wraps that eradicate infection and enhance vascularization. Collectively, this seminar highlights the versatility of polymer engineering to design tissue engineering scaffolds to meet clinical needs. 

Biography: Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and holder of the Cullen Trust for Higher Education Endowed Professorship in Engineering. Her laboratory specializes in the development of polymeric biomaterials to improve clinical outcomes of medical devices and regeneration strategies. She also serves on the scientific advisory board of ECM Biosurgery and Rhythio Medical as well as a consultant to several companies on biostability evaluation of medical devices. Dr. Cosgriff-Hernandez is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Materials Chemistry B and Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She has previously served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part B and chair of the NIH study section on Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering. 

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Biomedical Engineering
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Ina Gjencaj