Earlier this month, NC State announced the winners of its prestigious Game-Changing Research Incentive Program (GRIP), a program dedicated to enhancing forward-thinking and collaborative research. We are excited to report that a team including our own Drs. Matt Fisher and Fran Ligler was chosen to receive this distinguished award! GRIP was created to spur NC State faculty to think outside of the box and to stimulate collaborations across college and institutional boundaries. This year, over 59 pre-proposals from all 10 NC State colleges were received, accounting for more than 300 NC State faculty. Six finalists were chosen to give oral presentations to the GRIP scientific and administrative review panel, and just four of these groups were chosen to receive awards based on the merits of the proposed project.
Drs. Fisher and Ligler and collaborators at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill plan to extend recent innovations in 3D printing and bioprinting by developing a fiber-based printing system that underpins the essential need for mass customization technologies. As an example, Dr. Fisher’s focus is on developing patient-specific replacements for the knee meniscus. “Engineered replacements for tissues, such as the meniscus, require the ability to match the overall size and shape of the tissue as well as microscopic structural features,” said Dr. Fisher. “Combining 3D printing with traditional nonwovens techniques to make custom fibrous scaffolds allows a unique opportunity to do just that.” This vision would open up new interdisciplinary areas of research for healthcare and engineering, and can be easily extended to many other applications. Read about the GRIP program and the other winners here, and please join us in congratulating the team on this achievement!