Faculty Mentor

Anamika Prasad, PhD


Bone cancer is an aggressive disease and has peak occurrence during physiological stimulation of growth and aging. Astronauts who undergo long-term space missions also acquire an increased risk of bone tissue degeneration and cancer. Few in-vitro models currently exist capable of reproducing the complex microenvironment of bone tissue to support multicellular activity in a three-dimensional structure. This limits the ability to understand disease progression and develop suitable treatment strategies. Therefore, developing a bone tissue model and an associated bioreactor is critical to understand the risks associated with cancer progression and improve treatment and preventions related to those risks. The goal of this research was to develop an optimized, automated bioreactor to be used in a bone cancer microenvironment. This research focused on making several modifications to a bioreactor recently developed at South Dakota State University. One design modification included the addition of a camshaft with multiple cams to load numerous tissue samples simultaneously. Preliminary experimentation involved both theoretical calculations and experimental analysis in calibrating the camshaft to apply physiologically relevant loads. Computer simulations were run in SolidWorks to determine optimum speed and rotation of the motor of the cam assembly. The bioreactor platform was assembled via 3D printing using biocompatible, water-resistant, and high-temperature resistant material. The choice of 3D printing and the material used allows for a quick assembly and sterilization using readily available materials and off-the-shelf components and therefore has broader implications in biomedical device development. Ongoing and future work will provide a standard protocol for multicellular feasibility using bone and cancer cells for applications in cancer research and drug development.



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