DMS associate professor co-authors new journal's inaugural article

2019-willerthDr. Stephanie Willerth, associate professor in the Division of Medical Sciences, has co-authored the inaugural article in StemJournal, a new open-access, peer-reviewed journal for stem cell research.

“Combining Stem Cells and Biomaterial Scaffolds for Constructing Tissues and Cell Delivery” reviews the properties of materials that can be used to create scaffolding for engineering tissues. The article also reviews the properties of different stem cells, which are combined with the scaffolds to replace damaged organs.

Willerth and co-author Dr. Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, who is based out of the University of Texas-Austin, also present an overview of the current foundational knowledge on combining the scaffolds and cells, including new approaches like 3D bioprinting. Together, the information helps readers determine which combination of materials could best suit their tissue engineering application.

The article is an update of a review Willerth and Dr. Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert published in 2008.

“This chapter update is important because it was part the original StemBook, an online open access resource for scientists and engineers, and it highlights the importance of tissue engineering in the field of regenerative medicine,” says Willerth. 

In a press release from IOS Press, which publishes StemJournal and manages StemBook, Willerth and Sakiyama-Elbert explain their update is timely as the field of stem biology has advanced rapidly in the decade since their first review.

“The biomaterials have improved along with drug delivery systems for promoting the desired stem cell behavior, as have methods for confirming tissue function. The field of tissue engineering has also advanced significantly in harnessing the potential of pluripotent stem cells. Another exciting area is the development of novel bio-inks for 3D printing stem cell-derived tissues,” they say.

You can read the updated article here.