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Laboratory Courses Focused On Tissue Engineering Applications

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Biomedical Engr. Design and Laboratories

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.786.1 - 7.786.13



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Paper Authors

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Ann Saterbak

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 2209

Laboratory Courses Focused on Tissue Engineering Applications

Ann Saterbak Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston TX 77005


Two new laboratory courses focused on tissue engineering have been developed and implemented in the undergraduate Bioengineering Department at Rice University. The content of these courses is quite unique, yet fully supports the department’s emphasis on biomedical engineering at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. This sequence of required laboratory courses is designed to teach students mammalian tissue culture techniques, to develop their ability to design and conduct experiments, and to meet other department -specific ABET Program Outcomes. In BIOE 342, students learn sterile technique, develop their ability to visually assess cell morphology and confluency, and learn how to maintain cells in culture. Using fibroblast cells, students conduct viability, attachment, and proliferation assays. Differences in surface properties and serum concentrations are explored in the attachment and proliferation assays, respectively. Quantitative techniques to measure cell number and activity are stressed. One module within BIOE 441 focuses on the application of tissue culture techniques to a tissue engineering challenge. Students assess the physical and chemical properties of the polymer, poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA), and complete a four-week degradation study of PLLA films. Students design and conduct experiments to quantify the viability, attachment, and proliferation of fibroblast cells on PLLA films. Students are not given protocols for these experiments; they must develop new protocols or adapt protocols from BIOE 342 and make adjustments for differences such as cell seeding levels, attachment kinetics, and proliferation rates. Most students repeat experiments with a redesigned protocol. Because of the open-ended nature of the assignment, students develop unique approaches and protocols. Contents of the laboratory courses, assessment of the courses, equipment start-up and operating costs, and dissemination of course materials are discussed.

Bioengineering Curriculum at Rice University

The Bioengineering undergraduate program at Rice University is designed to prepare students for careers in the rapidly developing areas of biomedical engineering and bioprocessing. The undergraduate educational program in Bioengineering has the goal of producing a new type of biomedical engineer, fully conversant with modern biochemistry and cell and molecular biology.1-2 This type of biomedical engineer translates bench-scale scientific advances in biological sciences into cost-effective new products and processes. New and innovative curricula in lecture and laboratory courses are being developed to educate bioengineers who not only create new tissues and cell-based therapies but also deliver them at a cost affordable to our health care system.

The educational program objectives of the B.S. degree in Bioengineering at Rice University are to:

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Saterbak, A. (2002, June), Laboratory Courses Focused On Tissue Engineering Applications Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10325

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