Marissa Ruehle

Graduate Research Assistant

Biography

Marissa is an NSF Stem Cell Biomanufacturing IGERT trainee in the Wallace H. Coulter Biomedical Engineering Department at Georgia Tech and Emory University. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2014. Her research experience there focused on the synthesis and characterization of a self-assembling, peptide-based biomaterial. She also participated in an NSF REU at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute during the summer of 2013, where she worked on developing self-propelling Janus nanoparticles for cancer treatment.
Outside of the lab, Marissa enjoys listening to and playing music, traveling, and spending time outside.

Current Research

The objective of my research is to engineer a functionally vascularized bone construct in vitro. Although great progress has been made in the field of tissue engineering, engineered constructs are often unable to be implanted due to a lack of vascularization. Without blood flow, any cells outside the micrometer-scale range of diffusion are subject to oxygen deprivation and inevitable death. This hurdle is particularly challenging in thick tissues, such as bone and muscle. Current strategies to restore vascularization rely heavily on growth factors, which have challenges of their own due to short biological half-lives and undesirable side effects. My approach involves coculturing microvessel fragments, which have previously been shown to integrate with host vasculature and promote neovascularization, with mesenchymal stem cells that are directed down an osteogenic lineage.

Additional Info

Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience