Olivia Burnsed

Department: Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Program: BioEngineering

Advisor: Todd McDevitt, PhD

Lab Website

Research Summary:

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic condition in which cartilage is broken down, leaving the bones of joints exposed, which causes severe pain in the 27 million Americans suffering from OA. The goal of this project is to develop implantable microcarriers from decellularized pig cartilage to expand autologous cartilage cells while maintaining their appropriate phenotype. Additionally, these microcarriers may serve as platforms for extracellular matrix-mediated differentiation of mesenchymal and pluripotent stem cells.


I received my Bachelor of Science degree (highest honors) with a certificate in the research option from Georgia Tech in 2012. During my undergraduate studies, I worked for seven semesters for the Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at Georgia Tech under Drs. Barbara Boyan and Zvi Schwartz. My initial project focused on the use of adipose derived stem cells and their ability to stimulate cartilage regeneration. Through that project, I co-authored 4 conference abstracts and was a Finalist for the Student Young Investigator Poster Competition at 2010 North American Tissue Engineering Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) Conference. I was named a Petit Undergraduate Research Scholar in 2009 and received funding to continue research on adipose derived stem cells throughout 2010. In the summer of 2011, I interned through the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative (an NSF REU program) at the Badylak Laboratory in the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. There, my project focused on porcine dermis and urinary bladder extracellular matrix coated polypropylene meshes for use in stomach hernia repair. With a new interest in extracellular matrices, I developed an independent senior thesis project with Dr. René Olivares-Navarrete using gels of xenogenic cartilage matrices to stimulate chondrogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells without the addition of exogenous factors. I presented that research at a poster presentation at the 2012 Regenerative Medicine Conference in Hilton Head.   In August of 2012, I joined the lab of Todd McDevitt, Ph.D., as a Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology in the Stem Cell Biomanufacutring IGERT program.

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Related Publications
Adipose stem cells can secrete angiogenic factors that inhibit hyaline cartilage regnerations Stem Cell Research & Therapy Lee CS, Burnsed OA, Raghuram V, Kalisvaart J, Boyan BD, Schwartz Z