Jackie Shepard

Postdoctoral Associate
Ph.D Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University
B.S. Chemical Engineering, B.A. Mathematics, University of South Florida
Hometown: Bradenton, FL
Hobbies: running

Development of Hydrogel Scaffolds for Improved Drug Testing

More sophisticated in vitro models of the liver that better predict in vivo physiological responses are important for drug discovery. While animal models remain costly and time-consuming, many 3D culture models fail to reconstruct the in vivo human physiology. This has led to the development of perfused bioreactors for 3D tissue culture to more closely recapitulate the cellular microenvironment in vivo by controlling oxygen concentration gradients and providing biomechanical stimuli. Hydrogel scaffold inserts are patterned for culturing cells in 3D under perfusion and provide a permeable matrix with mechanical properties that more closely resemble native tissue. This perfusion culture platform can be adapted to study drug toxicity of multiple cell types such as lung, liver, and heart.