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Advanced Tissue Biofabrication

Center of Economic Excellence



Award Amount

$5 million


Research Focus

Develop innovative technologies and approaches that will enable repair, replacement, or restoration of diseased cells, tissues, and organs.

University Partners

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
Clemson University
University of South Carolina

Private Sector Partner

Multiple Industry Partners

The vision for the SmartState Center in Advanced Tissue Biofabrication involves industrial-scale production of complex tissues and organs for the repair, replacement, or restoration of diseased cells, tissues and organs. Researchers will focus on bioprinting, a technique of assembling human tissues and organs by layering living cells and a hydrogel, or polymer. Previously, production of bioprinted tissue has been limited to cartilage and similar structures that do not require blood flow. Center researchers aim to generate a vascular supply for bioprinted tissue that would allow a larger variety of structures and organs to be created in this manner.

The Center will add to South Carolina's growing bioengineering program, which includes the Center in Regenerative Medicine and the South Carolina Bioengineering Alliance.

The Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Center plays a major role in the 2009 statewide $20 million National Science Foundation grant. Along with MUSC, nine other South Carolina institutions of higher education are participants in this project: Clemson, USC, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Voorhees College, Furman University, USC‐Beaufort, Denmark Technical College, and Greenville Technical College. According to Dr. Roger Markwold, the lead scientist on the grant, the project’s mission is building issue and organs from the inside out, which is a different approach than anyone has taken. The project seeks to create a three-dimensional vascular tree and then the organ. The goal is to build many different types of organs in demand for transplant surgery.

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