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Quantifying the effects of media composition on microtissue self-assembly and stability


To make viable organs for transplant is our long-term goal. To reach that, our lab creates building blocks of tissues by having cells self-assemble in a natural way (as they would in our bodies). We create tissues of different shapes by seeding them into non-adhesive agarose molds that were made in a certain shape. One shape is a toroid structure, which can be the basis of blood vessels, if stacked, the tympanic membrane, if fused concentrically, etc. To make sure these toroid structures are stable, so that the organs can be stable, I studied the effects of various factors, such as the media composition in which these cells grow. I studied the effects of Fetal Bovine Serum, a common additive in cell culture, as well as ascorbate and l-proline, which are believed to affect collagen and ECM production, and our results showed that there may be a benefit to removing FBS and adding the two supplements to our future tissues, especially with the type of cells I worked with (NHF), as they are super contractile. Further work is being conducted, yet we are now placing more and more of our lab's tissues in the newer media with supplements to helm maintain stability.


Nakhla, Morcos, and Wilks, Benjamin T., "Quantifying the effects of media composition on microtissue self-assembly and stability" (2016). Summer Research Symposium. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



  • Summer Research Symposium

    Each year, Brown University showcases the research of its undergraduates at the Summer Research Symposium. More than half of the student-researchers are UTRA recipients, while others receive funding from a variety of Brown-administered and national programs and fellowships and go …