Name: Serena Augustine
Title: Graduate Student

MSRC Research Group:

Lab Contact Info:
Musculoskeletal Research Center
405 Center for Bioengineering
300 Technology Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Research Interests:
  • Cell seeding and mechanical conditioning of a small intestinal submucosa (SIS) bioscaffold to study its inherent properties
  • Functional tissue engineering of SIS to aid in healing and regeneration of ligaments and tendons
Current project:
Novel treatment strategies based on functional tissue engineering (FTE) have been shown to better restore the normal function of injured ligaments and tendons (Bellincampi LD et al. 1998). The use of biological scaffolds, in particular the porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS), has shown distinct promise in accelerating healing and regeneration of tissues, such as the medial collateral ligament (Badylak S et al. 1999; Musahl V et al. 2004). SIS is thought to improve healing due to its inherent bioactive agents (Badylak S et al. 1999) and preferred collagen alignment (i.e. ultrastructure) (Sacks MS et al. 1999). The first objective of my project is to determine a possible mechanism by which SIS enhances neo-PT healing following creation of a central third defect, through histomorphological and biochemical analyses. In our laboratory, cell seeding and cyclic stretching have been shown to improve the ultrastructure of SIS. In addition, other studies have shown that cyclic stretching following bone marrow derived cell seeding results in further alignment of cells and matrix in different collagen bioscaffolds, with improved in vivo results (Bell E et al. 1979). The second objective of my project is to further enhance SIS by finding the most appropriate cell sources and mechanical stimuli.

  • Tobita K, Liu LJ, Janczewski AM, Tinney JP, Nonemaker JM, Augustine S, Stolz DB, Shroff SG, Keller BB (2006). Engineered early embryonic cardiac tissue retains proliferative and contractile properties of developing embryonic myocardium. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2006 Oct;291(4):H1829-37.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award. 2007.

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