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Student Class


Student Affiliation

WISP Intern

Author ORCID Identifier

First Advisor

Peter Bertone

First Advisor Department

Department of Engineering Sciences—Thayer School of Engineering

Second Advisor

Katherine Hixon

Second Advisor Department

Department of Engineering Sciences—Thayer School of Engineering


Nearly 50% of cancers originating in organs such as the breast, prostate, and lungs spread to the skeleton. Typical metastatic bone disease (MBD) treatments include radiation and surgery; however, these interventions often bear adverse effects including infection, soft-tissue damage, and osteoporosis. Thus, improved bone regeneration could revolutionize MBD treatments where cryogel scaffolds offer a viable option. This project investigates cryogel incorporation with current radiotherapy (RT) treatments following bone tumor resection. Alternatively, FLASH RT irradiates tissue within ultra-short durations at high doses, reducing tissue toxicity and treatment time. However, the effects of FLASH on the material properties remains unclear. Cryogels were hydrated in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), mimicking in vivo conditions, and exposed to conventional or FLASH RT at varying clinically-relevant fractionated doses. All samples were then assessed for translation potential (i.e., porosity, mechanical integrity, and swelling kinetics). To determine whether hydrated cryogels exhibited property changes due to effects of irradiation or potential degradation from PBS, non-irradiated control cryogels were immersed in PBS for parallel fractionated doses. We hypothesized that hydrating cryogels in PBS during RT exposures will not affect material physical properties.

Publication Date

Spring 2023


cryogel, scaffold, metastatic bone disease, tissue regeneration, FLASH radiation, tumor resection, award


Biological Engineering | Biomaterials | Medicine and Health Sciences | Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Engineering | Musculoskeletal Diseases | Oncology | Translational Medical Research


Winner of the Barbara E. Crute Memorial Internship as part of the WISP Sophomore Scholarships/Engagement Awards

Cryogel Scaffold Mediated Bone Regeneration for Improved Metastatic Bone Disease Treatments


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