BME PhD Student Rachel Bour Advances Tissue Biomanufacturing Processes

August 26, 2022 by jta6n@virginia.edu

Rachel Bour graduate student head shot

Rachel Bour

Bioemedical engineering PhD student, Rachel Bour, is making exciting advances in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Her research may bring hope to those who suffer from injuries or birth defects where muscle and tissue cannot be regenerated by the body.

Bour is working in the Center for Advanced Biomanufacturing in the School of Medicine’s Bieomedical Engineering Department under the leadership of center founder and director George Christ, PhD, a professor of biomedical engineering and orthopedic surgery and Shayn Peirce-Cottler, a professor of biomedical engineering. Bour’s research has focused on automating tissue-engineered muscle repair technology, or TEMR, a technology developed by Professor Christ.

With this new intersection of medicine and manufacturing, we are poised to bring new hope to patients who suffer from large-scale muscle loss,” ~Professor Christ

The TEMR process involves taking muscle progenitor cells from the patient’s muscle tissue and then “growing” the cells and seeding them onto a base-layer called a scaffold. Bour’s work with the center and with lab manager Poonam Sharma has led to a way to automate the process of bioprinting cells in a single layer on the scaffold. The research group’s innovations may help automate and lower cost of production of tissue on a large scale, leading to more solutions for patients dealing with muscle and tissue loss.

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