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Subramanian gains NIH grant to study ultrasound as cartilage repair bioreactor

Anuradha Subramanian, associate professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has earned a National Institute of Health grant for Design and Evaluation of Ultrasound Stimulation Aided Bioreactor Configurations.

With this $533,941 grant she will study articular cartilage: the tissue that covers the human body’s joints with a durable, weight-distributing surface. Cartilage has little capacity for self-repair when damaged by illness or trauma.

Subramanian, who is also a faculty member in Biomedical Engineering at UNL, said the long-term goal of her research is to design and develop bioreactors or bioprocessing units to generate engineered tissues.

“Our objective … is to develop a bioreactor that utilizes stimulation by ultrasound,” Subramanian said, “and conduct a detailed study on the effect of ultrasound on chondrocytes cultured in 3-D scaffolds in vitro.” Having observed cellular response to ultrasound exposure, Subramanian and her team will apply this technology to efficiently and effectively grow cartilage cells in 3D culture systems.

“Ultrasound has been shown to impact cartilage function at the cellular level,” Subramanian said, but added “there is still a need to better understand the effect of ultrasound stimulation of cartilage cells.”

An abstract with the project’s description can be viewed at projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm; search the term “Design and Evaluation of Ultrasound Stimulation Aided Bioreactor Configurations.”

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