2024 Investiture Information

All Thayer Events

Development of a Nonunion Model & Scaffold Techniques to Promote Bone Regeneration



12:00pm - 1:00pm ET


Meeting ID: 977 4691 6225
Passcode: 080489

In fracture healing, regeneration is a reiteration of embryonic bone development; however, healing fails in 5-10% of all cases, resulting in a defect. While animal models of these defects are available, they are not always representative of what is seen clinically. Atrophic nonunions are particularly difficult to model due to their poorly understood biology. Femur fractures were created in transgenic mice to assess healing and the potential to develop a new model of atrophic nonunion. Upon establishing a model, tissue engineered scaffolds offer off-the-shelf alternative treatment methods for bone defects. Unique cryogel scaffolds possess a macroporous, sponge-like, and mechanically durable structure. Additives to optimize mineralization and anti-bacterial properties can be incorporated to improve regeneration. Finally, the integration of computed tomography, 3D-printed site-specific molds, and cryogel fabrication can generate patient-specific treatments. These animal models and scaffolds have a number of applications in bone regeneration for both orthopedic and oral/maxillofacial surgery.

About the Speaker(s)

Katherine Hixon
Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington U

Katie Hixon received her BS in biomedical engineering from the University of Iowa in 2014. She then earned a PhD in biomedical engineering at Saint Louis University. Her research broadly included tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, focusing primarily on scaffold fabrication for the treatment of critical-size defects as well as craniofacial/maxillofacial congenital conditions. In 2018, Hixon began a postdoctoral position in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. She was awarded the NIH F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) to study bone healing following fracture and develop a clinically relevant animal model to test therapeutic interventions. Hixon plans to establish a laboratory focused on biomedical engineering/craniofacial surgery and conduct cutting-edge research utilizing models of craniofacial anomalies to drive the development of novel tissue engineering/regenerative medicine therapies, impacting dental, oral, and craniofacial health.


For more information, contact Ashley Parker at ashley.l.parker@dartmouth.edu.