Second Place: Hannah Meredith, 12th Grade
“A Wound with no Scar: Perfecting the Wound Healing Process” (19004)
Category: Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering
Region: Mathematics and Science High School, Clover Hill, Richmond
Abstract: The formation of a scar following tissue damage may not only be unsightly, but may also result in tissue that is limited in structure and function. Consequently, a number of studies have been aimed at developing a tissue-engineered scaffold using synthetic and/or natural polymers that would aid wound healing and prevent scar tissue formation. However, scaffolds constructed from synthetic polymers (such as polydioxane) tended to be strong, but not biocompatible, whereas a scaffold constructed from natural polymers (such as gelatin) tended to be biocompatible, but not as strong. The present study tested the performance of a novel material, placental extract, which is notoriously rich in extracellular matrix components (which provide strength) and nutrients (which promote cell growth and biocompatibility). It was hypothesized that a scaffold containing placental extract would withstand normal physical manipulation and would function as a highly efficient platform for cell growth. In this experiment, three different scaffolds (placenta, gelatin or polydioxane) were electrospun. The physical properties of each scaffold were tested, and results showed the placental extract scaffold could withstand normal physical manipulation as well as the other scaffolds. The scaffolds were tested to determine how each would perform as a platform for cell growth by observing the reaction of cardiac fibroblasts on the scaffolds. The placental extract scaffold supported cell growth the best, as indicated by the extent of cell migration. The results suggest that placental extract is a potential material for constructing the ideal engineered tissue to promote wound healing and prevent scar tissue formation.
Monday, April 14, 2008
at 8:51 AM