The fabrication of complex engineered tissues remains a grand challenge in regenerative medicine. These complex tissues – bone, cartilage, vasculature, and cardiac – are characterized by dense cellularity, patterned cellular composition, and controlled matrix presentation. Mimicking this native complexity within in vitro cell-based constructs and biomaterial formulations has enormous potential for clinical applications towards repair and regeneration of tissues.

The objective of CECT is to address this clinical opportunity by applying three-dimensional (3D) printing strategies to produce novel tissue engineered constructs with transplantation capabilities. CECT brings together research leaders at the University of Maryland, Rice University, and Wake Forest University, known for their strong bioengineering and biofabrication expertise, state-of-the-art resources, and translational experience, to form 3 Technology Research and Development Projects (TR&Ds). Additionally, Collaborative and Service projects with other institutions, both academic and industry, add depth and breadth to the research program and technical capabilities.

CECT also focuses on growing a community engaged in developing and utilizing complex engineered tissues by offering a series of education and training programs as well as communication resources to help develop and establish these technologies. This center aims to be a national and international resource for the biomedical community and a platform to establish collaborative efforts towards regenerative medicine applications.

Overview of CECT structure

The center structure consists of 3 core technology platforms (TR&Ds) that collaborate synergistically with other institutions on collaborative or service projects. CECT also contributes to the biomedical community through various workshops, training programs, and dissemination of technical knowledge garnered through the collaborations. The overarching goal is to address pressing issues in the clinical space.

Images courtesy WFIRM