Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive cartilage degeneration disease with a complex pathologic mechanism. Although OA has devastating effects on patient quality of life and places a significant burden on the healthcare system, no disease-modifying drugs have been found, and surgical treatment options are often unsustainable. 3D bioprinting is a novel field within tissue engineering that focuses on developing biocompatible constructs that can be implanted to replace an organ or tissue. Such constructs have a great potential to become treatments for OA. Understanding cell mobility within hydrogels could play a vital role in advancing the development of biocompatible constructs. However, due to the novelty of bioprinting, limited research on cell mobility within hydrogels is available. Therefore, this project aims to fill the gap in existing research regarding cell mobility within bioprinted constructs with varying mechanical properties. To achieve this goal, green fluorescent protein-tagged mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) were developed to assess progenitor cell mobility in bioprinted hydrogel constructs. Constructs were printed with three zones: hydrogel with embedded chondrocytes or MSCs; hydrogel spacer; and chemoattractant. Designed constructs were bioprinted (BioAssemblyBot, Advanced Solutions) using GelMA:HAMA bioinks containing photoinitiator with varying bioink percentages. Cell viability and directional mobility within constructs were assessed by fluorescence viability assay and time-lapse fluorescence microscopy. The protocol to evaluate cell mobility in bioprinted constructs and optimized bioprinting settings for GelMA:HAMA bioinks were gained through this project. Overall, this project allowed us to fill the gap in existing knowledge regarding MSC and chondrocyte mobility in hydrogels and contribute to developing a novel treatment method for OA.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Kean, Thomas


Borgon, Robert


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Medicine


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences



Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Release Date