Annie Behre

Student: Annie Behre

Project: Simultaneous and Independent Control of Biochemical and Physical Properties in 3D-printed Biomaterials | View Poster (PDF)

Institution: Lehigh University

Major: Bioengineering

Advisor: Lesley Chow


Tissues are not homogeneous, and their function is closely linked to the specific organization of multiple components. For example, the osteochondral (OC) interface between bone and cartilage contains a transition consisting of gradients in biochemical and physical properties that are critical for normal biomechanical function. Fabricating a biomaterial that recreates these gradients is challenging, which limits ability to engineer native-like, functional tissues. Solvent-cast direct-write (SC-DW) three-dimensional (3D) printing uses computer-controlled deposition of polymer-based ink solutions to form 3D constructs1. The Chow Lab is exploiting this technique to 3D print inks containing poly(caprolactone) (PCL) and peptide-modified PCL (peptide-PCL) conjugates to fabricate peptide-functionalized scaffolds in a single step2. Here, two different peptide-PCL conjugates, HAbind-PCL and E3-PCL, which have been shown to promote human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) differentiation into chondrogenesis3 or osteogenesis3, respectively, were used to demonstrate multi-peptide organization within a single scaffold. The print pattern was also modified during fabrication to create a variety of scaffold architectures. This platform thus enables us to simultaneously and independently control both the biochemical and physical organization within a continuous construct. To confirm peptide presentation and compare peptide concentration, constructs were fluorescently labeled using fluorescein-HA and/or amino-Cy3 to specifically label HAbind and E3 peptides, respectively. Fluorescence intensity was quantified using ImageJ. Scaffold morphology was characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
[1] SZ Guo +, Langmuir 2014
[2] LW Chow +, Adv Healthc Mater 2014.
[3] PA Parmar +, Adv Healthc Mater 2016.
[4] OJ Karaman +, Tissue Eng Regen Med 2016.

About Annie Behre

Anne (Annie) Behre is a senior bioengineering major at Lehigh University, focusing on the biomechanics and biomaterials track. She has been doing research in the Chow Lab, under Professor Lesley Chow, since January 2018, as a Clare Boothe Luce Scholar. She researches 3D printing strategies for biomaterials. In the summer between her sophomore and junior year at Lehigh, she performed research at the National University of Ireland (NUIG), as an Iacocca International Scholar, where she performed mechanical testing on osteoporotic, diabetic, and arthritic human femoral bones. In her free time, she is a fitness instructor at Barreform, located in Bethlehem, Pa, where she teaches a “megaformer” class. After graduation, Annie hopes to continue her education by pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.

Lehigh Engineering Undergraduate Research Symposium

Congratulations to the 2019 Undergraduate Research Symposium winners:

Read full coverage from this year's event here!