Headshot portrait of Praveen Sundar - Bio-X Undergraduate Fellow
2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Engineering
Mentor: Jon-Paul Pepper (Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery)

“Surgical Implantation Efficacy of 3D Printed Nerve Conduits”

Surgical 3D-printed implants are prominent for patient-specific treatments. The Pepper lab focuses on nerve regeneration after injury. The research conducted in this project will include designing and printing 3D nerve conduits in cylindrical or rectangular shapes to promote tissue revascularization after nerve injury repair. These models will be printed with type I collagen, and with and without mouse nerve fibroblasts. They will test various print designs qualitatively and quantitatively (i.e., tensile strength testing). Along with the 3D nerve conduit, they will identify a combination of fibrin and thrombin to “seal” nerve repairs, with ideal viscoelastic properties, such as setting within a 15-30 second range. This combination of fibrin/thrombin can then be used to fixate the nerve repair conduits in patients. Ultimately, they hope to improve their understanding of how to best repair nerve injuries.