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Dr. Athina Markaki

A major focus of my group’s research is directed towards: (a) Vascular networks for tissue engineering. A critical obstacle for creating tissue/organs with clinically relevant dimensions is the formation of a three-dimensional, hierarchical, and perfusable vasculature. We use ECM-like hydrogel materials with various channel-forming techniques to create vascularized tissue, working towards solutions to this interdisciplinary problem. We have developed a space-filling algorithm, based on Constrained Constructive Optimization, for generation of 3D printable models of biomimetic vascular networks. (b) Scaffods for tissue engineering and the study of the various inter-relationships between scaffold architecture, mechanical properties and cell responses. (c) Brain cancer cell migration. The work is concerned with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). It combines engineering and cell biology to develop deeper insight into tumor’s invasive capacity along blood vessels.