Growth Factor Transport Modeling

A major thrust of research of the Albro Lab is the development of sophisticated computational models to describe the delivery of key anabolic growth factors during the development of engineered musculoskeletal tissues. These novel frameworks can be used to optimize growth factor delivery strategies to allow for sufficient ECM biosynthesis during development while mitigating pathogenic effects of excessive growth factor activity that currently plague regenerative medicine platforms.

reaction-diffusion.JPG

Transport of growth factor in articular cartilage can be described by a reaction diffusion equation which accounts for passive diffusion and chemical reactions (reversible binding to ECM and internalization by chondrocytes) within the engineered cartilage tissue.

In Vitro Tissue Growth

Bone

Cartilage

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TGF-β level

(ng/mL)

48 h simulation

In Vivo Tissue Growth

This characterization allows for the development of the first-ever model to describe the transport of TGF-β in engineered cartilage tissues. We believe that this modeling framework will be applicable to a wide range of musculoskeletal tissue engineering systems:

  • Tissue types (e.g. cartilage, meniscus, tendons, IVD)

  • Scaffold materials (e.g. hydrogels, synthetic polymers)

  • Cell sources (e.g. chondrocytes, MSCs, other progenitors)