In my research laboratory at WPI, teams of graduate and undergraduate students collaborate with researchers at WPI and the University of Massachusetts Medical School to design, fabricate, culture and analyze cell-based engineered vascular tissue. I enjoy collaborating with students to explore the role of cells and ECM on tissue organization and material properties in health and disease, and working with undergraduate student teams to apply engineering principles to design and prototype bioreactors that impart mechanical stimuli on engineered vascular tissues to simulate the hemodynamic environment of the human circulatory system. In the classroom, I frequently rely on my experience as a research scientist in a biomaterials and drug delivery group at a medical device company to educate and excite students about the challenges of bringing cell and molecular therapies from research concept to commercialization and clinical use.
WBUR reported on research by Marsha Rolle, associate professor of biomedical engineering, spoke to WBUR about her work to develop self-assembling human blood vessels that exhibit the symptoms of common cardiovascular conditions. The engineered blood vessels may give scientists a better way to test the effectiveness of new medications.