Thuy Nguyen

Microfluidic Encapsulation of Human Bone Mesenchymal Stromal/Stem Cells (hBMSCs) in Microgels for Cartilage Regeneration

Co-supervisors: John Forsythe and Helmut Thissen (CSIRO)

Thuy achieved her Master’s Degree in Biomaterials at Gachon University, South Korea, in 2019. Over two years of studying there, she developed a PDMS-based microfluidic device that produced alginate hollow microfibers lining with endothelial cells (HUVECs) to create mimicking blood vessels. In her research, she is keen on the creation of microstructures (microparticles, microfibres) for tissue engineering, and biomedical applications.

After getting Monash Graduate Scholarship, Thuy joined in Frith lab and commenced her PhD in 2020. She is working on using microfluidics to generate human bone mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (hBMSCs)-laden microgels to construct engineered tissues, specifically for cartilage regeneration. Articular cartilage is the hyaline type of connective tissue of the joints that supports the flexible joint movement, absorbs shock and resists the mechanical loads. However, due to some factors, articular cartilage is degenerated, which can develop into osteoarthritis causing severe pain and disability. Since the degenerated articular cartilage has limited capacity for self-repair, current treatments mostly relate to complicated surgeries, but still cannot provide a fully functional regenerated cartilage tissue. Therefore, developing an optimized cell-laden microgel system, which is capable to be injected locally into a target defect area to promote tissue regeneration could be a promising strategy for cartilage repair.