User:Kelli B. Pointer

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Kelli Pointer

Department of Biological Engineering
New House 2
472 Memorial Dr.
Cambridge, MA 02139

kpointer AT mit DOT edu

This website is for my 20.109 class, Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering.

Module 3 Project Proposal

Project Title

Storage of stem cells for later differentiation into cardiovascular vessels

Background Information

Many problems arise when things like organs and drugs are introduced into the body because the body either rejects whatever is being introduced or the thing that is being introduced rejects the body. For this reason, it is ideal to use something that comes directly from someone's body to avoid immune responses and ultimately rejection. Thus, if a method is created where stem cells can be isolated in the fetal stage or even from the umbilical code, then methods to grow organs or vessels from those stem cells can be implemented and rejection would decrease dramatically.

Project Overview

Project Problems

Project Goals

Create a method that can store umbilical cord stem cells or fetal stem cells for later use if problems arise in the cardiovascular system. Then, ultimately use those stem cells for in vitro growth of vessels.

Details and Methods

Predicted Outcomes


Blattmann, Annette et al., The formation of pores in the basal lamina of regenerated renal tubules Biomaterials (2008)

In this assay they looked at the basal aspects of renal tubules generated at the Interphase of an artificial interstitium in order to gain more knowledge about the generation of renal tubules. They took progenitor cells from neonatal rabbit kidney and put them inside a specific tissue holder that was covered by polyester fleece. They found tissue-specific antibodies that showed that the tubes were completely covered by a basal lamina. The matrix that was formed had three categories of pores which were widely distributed. The pores were also found in collections of duct tubules of the neonatal rabbit kidney.

Heydarkhan-Hagvall,Sepideh et al., Three-dimensional electrospun ECM-based hybrid scaffolds for cardiovascular tissue engineering, Biomaterials(2008)

Electrospinning can be used to take natural proteins or synthetic polymers to create fibrous scaffolds for tissue engineering. In order to try to overcome the problems of scaffolding that is electospun from natural proteins, in this assay they determined characteristics of a scaffold composed of collagen, elastin, and gelatin in order to avoid chemical cross-linking. They found that fiber size increased and pore size decreased when the polymer concentrations were increased. The tensile strength was less when compared to the traditional scaffolding that is made from natural proteins. Ultimately, they found that combining synthetic polymers and natural proteins to create a scaffold was biologically and mechanically favorable

G. Liu et al., Tissue-engineered bone formation with cryopreserved human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, Cryobiology (2008), doi:10.1016/ j.cryobiol.2008.02.008

In this assay they tested to see if cryopreserved human bone marrow stem cells could maintain their potential for proliferation and osteogenic differentiation in vitro. They slowly cooled bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells with Me2SO as a cyroprotectant and rapidly thawed it. Then they froze the cells with liquid nitrogen for twenty four hours and thawed them. After they thawed the stem cells, they plated them and let them grow for four weeks. After four weeks, they saw no difference in the growth rate or morphology of the cells that had been cryopreserved compared to the same cells that had not been cryopreserved. They also found that the cryopreserved cells attached to scaffolding the same way that cells that were not cryopreserved did. There were no significant differences between the cells that were cryopreserved and the cells that were not.

Research Interests

  • Cancer
  • Stem Cells
  • Tissue Engineering


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010

Homewood-Flossmoor High School, 2006


Coming soon!!!

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