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UConn Health Virtual Webinar Series: Exercise-induced Piezoelectric Stimulation for Cartilage Regeneration

April 26, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Beyond the science, the webinars will address the social and psychological dimensions of research training. What is the ideal environment to train young scientists? What are the social and cultural barriers? How does the young scholar mesh into the fabric of the organization? In all, attendees to the webinars will appreciate contemporary science in regeneration and the dynamics of transferring that science to the next generation in the workforce enterprise.

The Connecticut Convergence Institute, in partnership with the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), is producing this webinar series. The webinars will inform participants and the audience on the perspective of young scientists in training conducting research in regenerative engineering supplemented by the interaction with their research mentors. Borne from the institutional experience at the Connecticut Convergence Institute’s signature T32 Doctoral and Young Innovative Investigator Programs as well as UConn’s graduate training, four Webinars will be held.

Cartilage is sensitive to electrical stimulation (ES). Battery-based and bimetallic electrodes have been used to generate nanoampere current to stimulate the growth of hyaline cartilage in the knees of rabbits. Electrical fields have been reported to stimulate aggrecan (ACAN) and type-II collagen (COL2A1) mRNA expression and increased proteoglycan and collagen production in human OA cartilage explants. Direct current has been used to stimulate cartilage repair, and biphasic currents have been shown to repair hyaline cartilage in male rats. Because bioelectrical signals are ubiquitous inside the body, ES can be considered a source for promoting tissue regeneration. However, current devices used for ES by either direct current contact or capacitive coupling have limitations, such as high infection rates, the potential for a painful implant, and the stresses associated with operative procedures, rendering the electrical stimulator impractical for clinical use. Externally generated electromagnetic fields used as noninvasive stimulators in the knee joint are drastically attenuated. Devices directly implanted inside the joint avoid the problem of tissue absorption. However, they usually contain nonbiodegradable materials and toxic batteries that must be removed. Fluorescent microscopic methods have been developed to observe lineage progression in real time in culture and in adult skeletal tissues. Particular attention is directed to multiplexing various fluorescent cellular stains to maximize the information available within a histological section of mineralized tissues. Progress in the development of advanced image analysis of skeletal development will be presented.

BioFabUSA, a program of ARMI, is a public-private partnership with more than 170 members, including companies, academic institutions and not-for profit organizations.




Learn more about work underway to build the biofabrication ecosystem and accelerate the science of regenerative medicine.