Origami – the Japanese art of folding paper into shapes and figures – dates back to the sixth century. At UMass Lowell, it is inspiring researchers as they develop a 21st century solution to the shortage of tissue and organ donors.
Gulden Camci-Unal, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, and her team of student researchers are designing new biomaterials that could someday be used to repair, replace or regenerate skin, bone, cartilage, heart valves, heart muscle and blood vessels, and in other applications.
Using origami as inspiration, Camci-Unal and her team are using plain paper to create centimeter-scale scaffoldings where the cells can grow and then applying microfabrication techniques to generate new biomaterials known as tissue mimetics.
“Paper is a low-cost, widely available and extremely flexible material that can be easily fabricated into three-dimensional structures of various shapes, sizes and configurations,” said Camci-Unal … read more