Dr. Gregory Underhill
Office: 2112 Everitt Lab
Office Hours: Email Appointment


Principles underlying tissue structure-function relationships.  Engineering methods for manipulating cellular environments.  Quantitative cell and tissue characterization.  Design and clinical translation of cell-based therapies.

Class meets TR 9:30-10:50am in 2310 Everitt Lab.

Course Objectives

  1. Define mechanisms of tissue development and tissue regeneration.
  2. Understand principles underlying tissue structure-function relationships.
  3. Understand methods for manipulating cellular environments.
  4. Obtain skills for critical assessment of experimental design and analysis strategies.
  5. Understand technological approaches for quantitative cell and tissue characterization.
  6. Determine design parameters necessary for developing cell and tissue engineering-based therapies.

Required Textbook


Reading material will be assigned from a combination of book chapters, review articles, and primary research papers.



Two midterm exams (6th and 12th week of the semester).  Midterm exams are closed-book exams during the normal lecture period.


Students will organize into groups of approximately 6 students, select a tissue-engineering topic from a list provided, and prepare a proposal that designs an experiment to test a novel tissue engineering approach.  Writing guidelines will be provided at a later date.  Groups will also prepare presentations of their design, to be presented during class.

Homeworks/In-Class Exercises

  1. Approximately 5 homework sets based on lectures and assigned reading material.
  2. In class assignments and discussions.

Note: Students may discuss homework problems, but students must complete their own work and write up solutions independently.

In-Class Quizzes

Approximately 10 pop quizzes will be given throughout the semester (roughly 1 per week, excluding project presentation weeks).  These quizzes will be given at the beginning of the lecture period.  The 2 lowest quiz grades will be dropped from the total quiz grade.  A missed quiz due to absence or late attendance will count as one of these dropped quizzes.



Homeworks/In-Class Exercises   24%

In-Class Quizzes  5%

Midterm #1  24%

Midterm #2  24%

Project Presentation  10%

Project Proposal  13%

Letter grade determination:

>97% = A+; >93% = A; >89.5% = A-; >87% B+; >83% = B; >79.5% = B-; >77% = C+; >73% = C; >67% = C-

* Link to student gradebook

Week Of



Homework Due


Introduction: Tissue Engineering and Cell-Based Therapies

Tissue Organization

Reading: paper 1 (read for Tues. 9/3)



Tissue Morphogenesis

Tissue Dynamics

Reading: chapter (read for Tues. 9/10)



Stem Cells and Lineages

Reading: paper related to in-class discussion (9/10)

Cell Isolation and Culture



Cell-Cell Communication

ECM and Natural Scaffold Materials

Reading: chapter (read for Tues. 9/24)

Homework #1 Due Tuesday 9/17 (in class)

Homework #1 Solutions



Synthetic Biomaterial Scaffolds

Reading: paper (read for Thurs. 9/26)

Scaffold Fabrication & Tailoring

Homework #2 Due Thursday 9/26 (in class)

Homework #2 Solutions


Project Introduction- Review

In-class Review Questions with Solutions


Midterm Exam #1: Weeks 1-5

Quiz #1 Solutions

Quiz #2 Solutions

Quiz #3 Solutions

Quiz #4 Solutions

Quiz #5 Solutions



Graft Rejection/Material Biocompatibility

Controlled Release/Drug Delivery

Reading: paper (read for Tues. 10/15)




No Lecture

Homework #3 Due Tuesday 10/15 (in class)

Homework #3 Solutions


Cell Migration

Readings and Associated Questions- To be Discussed (Thurs. 10/24)

Cell Mechanics



Microtechnology Tools I

Microtechnology Tools II

Homework #4 Due Tuesday 10/29 (in class)

Homework #4 Solutions


Engineered Disease Models Stem Cell Therapies



Case Study

Example Topics to Review (for exam)

Example Questions (solutions)

Midterm Exam #2: Weeks 7-12

Quiz #6 Solutions

Quiz #7 Solutions

Quiz #8 Solutions

Quiz #9 Solutions

Quiz #10 Solutions

Homework #5 (Group Project Draft Summary)

Due Tuesday 11/12 (in class)


Project Details

Tissue Engineering Ethics

No Lecture

Project Discussion Meetings


Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving Break



Project presentations

Group #1: Traumatic Brain Injury

Group #2: Epimorphic Limb Regeneration

Group #3: Spinal Cord Regeneration

Group #4: Organ-on-a-Chip

Group #5: Heart Patch

Project presentations

Group #6: Facial Reconstruction                         

Group #7: Ligament Engineering

Group #8: Injectable Cartilage

Group #9: Heart Valves

Group #10: Stimuli-Responsive Scaffolds             



Project presentations

Group #11: Skeletal Muscle

Group #12: Engineered Tumor

Group #13: Artificial Cornea

Group #14: Biomineralized Collagen Scaffolds

Group #15: Engineered Lymphatics



Exam Week

Written Proposal Due: 

5pm Wednesday 12/18 (1 copy per group, emailed to Prof. Underhill)