BEC/BME 483/583
Tissue Engineering Technologies

Course Description

In this half-semester laboratory module, students will:

  • Use advanced cell culture techniques to explore key topics in tissue engineering
  • Create complex skin equivalent tissue, including mesenchymal/extracellular matrix and epithelial layers; evaluate experimental biomaterials for potential to improve process
  • Investigate angiogenic capacity of engineered tissue using in vivo system
  • Fix, embed, section and stain engineered tissue constructs for structural analysis

Lecture Topics

  • Tissue engineering: state-of-the art, future directions
  • Biology of Tissues: epithelial/mesenchymal interactions
  • Skin as Model Organ: epidermal/dermal structure and differentiation
  • Angiogenesis: significance for tissue engineering
  • Theory and practice of: cell culture and co-culture; angiogenic assays; histology: fixation, paraffin embedding, sectioning and staining

Lab Topics

Week 1

Review cell culture techniques, lab safety, record keeping; Cast dermal layer of skin with cellular and acellular collagen components, plus experimental biomaterials; Initiate keratinocyte cultures.

Week 2

Seed keratinocytes on dermal layer; manipulate medium and culture conditions to induce differentiation.

Week 3

Use Matrigel to perform endothelial cell tube angiogenesis assays; Design experiments to assess angiogenic potential of unknown agents.

Weeks 4–7

Skin equivalent tissues matures. Test for ability of the tissue to support angiogenesis using a chick chorioallantoic membrane assay; Fix, paraffin embed, section and stain mature skin equivalent tissue for analysis of tissue differentiation and effects of biomaterials.


The normal pre-requisite, BIT 466/566, is not offered Fall 2023. Students with prior animal cell culture experience, for example BIT 410/510, other coursework, or laboratory research experience may enroll with permission of instructor. Please contact Douglas Tremblay at