Allison Bean


Allison Bean

Allison Bean

Faculty Mentor: Sanjeev Shroff

Research:The extracellular matrix of native tissues is composed of proteins organized on a nanometer level. Therefore, the utilization of scaffolds composed of polymer nanofibers that closely mimic the size and structure of the native extracellular matrix has become a popular tool in tissue engineering research. Studies in our lab and in others' have shown that seeding cells onto nanofiber scaffolds results in enhanced cell adhesion, migration, proliferation and differentiation for a variety of cell types. While it has been speculated that the improved cellular response is due to the high surface area and high porosity of the nanofiber scaffolds, potential differences in the interactions between the cells and the material at the sub-cellular level have not been examined. My project focuses on developing an understanding of how differences in the physical structure of the scaffold can alter the response of cells when they are seeded onto the material. I am performing studies that compare the responses of MSCs that are seeded on fibrous polymer scaffolds with varying diameters in order to elucidate the mechanisms that regulate the cell response to scaffold topography. The knowledge gained by these investigations can be utilized in the future to develop improved functional tissue engineered scaffolds for in vivo transplantation.

Preliminary experiments have been performed examining the effects of fiber diameter as well as seeding density on mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. Results were submitted and accepted to the annual meeting for TERMIS. Experiments examining the effects of 3D culture of mesenchymal stem cells and their effects on endothelial cells to improve angiogenesis in tissue engineered constructs is ongoing. Also will have completed a book chapter for a textbook entitled "Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine: A Nano Approach". I also plan to complete my thesis proposal this fall.  


  • Clause KC, Tinney JP, Liu LJ, Keller BB, Tobita K. "Engineered early embryonic cardiac tissue increased cardiomyocyte proliferation by cyclic mechanical stretch via p38-MAP kinase phosphorylation". Tissue Engineering Part A, 15(6), 1373-1380, 2009.
  • Clause KC, Tinney JP, Liu JL, Gharaibeh B, Huard J, Kirk JA, Shroff SG, Fujimoto KL, Wagner W, Ralphe JC, Keller BB, Tobita K. "A three-dimensional gel bioreactor for assessment of cardiomyocyte induction in skeletal muscle derived stem cells". Tissue Eng Part C Methods, 2009.
  • Fujimoto K, Clause KC, Tinney J, Verman S, Wagner W, Keller B, Tobita K. "Engineered fetal cardiac graft preserves its cardiomyocyte proliferation within post-infarcted myocardium and sustains cardiac function". Tissue Engineering Part A, 2010.
  • Clause KC, Liu JL, Powell MC, Tinney JP, Keller BB, Gharaibeh B, Huard J, Tobita K. "Fast skeletal muscle myosin heavy chain is present in developing myocardium". Anatomical Records, 2010.
  • Clause KC, Liu LJ, Tobita K. "Directed stem cell differentiation: the role of physical forces". Cell Communication and Adhesion, 2010.
  • Bean, A. C. and Tuan, R. S. "Stem Cells and Nanotechnology in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine."   Micro and Nanotechnologies in Engineering Stem Cells and Tissues.  2013


  • American Physician Scientists Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, USA, 04/2011
  • Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society Annual Meeting, Houston, TX, USA, 12/2011.
    • Bean AC & Tuan RS, Effects of Fiber Diameter and Surface Area on Protein Adsorption onto Poly(?-Caprolactone) Fibrous Biomaterial Scaffolds     
  • MSC, Cleveland, OH. United States of America, 8/19/2013
    • Bean AC, Tuan RS, "Influence of Scaffold Fiber Diameter and Cell Source on In Vitro Stem Cell-Based Skeletal Tissue E."


Allison is studying the mechanisms underlying the interactions between mesenchymal stem cells and engineered polymer fibers to improve bone and cartilage tissue engineering.