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John P. Fisher, PhD

3D Printed Periosteal Mimic for Cleft Palate Reconstruction

John Fisher

Dr. John P. Fisher is the Fischell Family Distinguished Professor and Department Chair in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland.  Dr. Fisher is also the Director of the NIBIB / NIH Center for Engineering Complex Tissue (CECT) that aims to create a broad community focusing on 3D printing and bioprinting for regenerative medicine applications.  Dr. Fisher completed a B.S. in biomedical and chemical engineering at The Johns Hopkins University (1995), M.S. in chemical engineering at the University of Cincinnati (1998), Ph.D. in bioengineering at Rice University (2003), and postdoctoral fellowship in cartilage biology and engineering at the University of California Davis (2003).

Dr. Fisher has been elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2012), the Biomedical Engineering Society (2016), and the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (2020).

Dr. Fisher has received the Clemson Award for Contributions to the Literature from the Society For Biomaterials (2020), the Senior Scientist Award from the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society – Americas (TERMIS-AM) Chapter (2017), a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the National University of Ireland, Galway (2015), the Next Power Professorship from Tsing Hua University in Taiwan (2015), the Engalitcheff Award from the Arthritis Foundation (2008), the Outstanding Graduate Alumnus Award from the Department of Bioengineering at Rice University (2007), the Arthritis Foundation’s Investigator Award (2006), and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2005).

Dr. Fisher is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Tissue Engineering, while also editing 6 texts in the field of tissue engineering.  In 2014, Dr. Fisher was the Chair of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society – Americas (TERMIS-AM) Chapter Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.  Also in 2014, Dr. Fisher was elected President of TERMIS-AM, and in 2018 started his three year term as Chair of the Chapter after serving three years as Chair-Elect.  In 2018, Dr. Fisher was the Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of BMES.


Cleft palates are congenital disorders that occur in 1 out of 700 live births each year worldwide, making them one of the most prevalent congenital abnormalities. Surgical approaches often utilize patient autografts, but these procedures may require significant adjustments throughout the patient’s lifetime and can result in donor site morbidity. Most cleft palate strategies focus solely on bone tissue regeneration in the defect area. However, the periosteum plays a significant role in the bone healing and formation processes, particularly in younger patients. The periosteum’s complex anatomy includes multiple cell populations within 100 μm of total tissue thickness. 3D printing provides an ideal approach to fabricating an engineered periosteum, and the printing techniques have the advantage of controlling the deposition of multiple cell populations within an irregularly shaped construct. Unfortunately, most 3D printing strategies lack the resolution to fabricate a biomimetic periosteum. We, therefore, propose to develop a plan to 3D print a bone–periosteum construct with the necessary resolution to achieve a biomimetic structure of macroscale bone and microscale periosteum. To this end, we will investigate a processing strategy to reduce bioprinted structure dimensions to achieve finer resolution for periosteum. We will then explore how different ratios of mesenchymal stem cells, predifferentiated osteoblast cells, and osteoblasts within the inner cambium periosteum layer can affect osteogenic potential. Finally, we will observe endothelial cell expansion and network formation within the bone periosteum by incorporating human umbilical vein endothelial cells in the outer fibrous periosteum layer. The successful completion of this work will produce a translatable 3D printed bone–periosteum construct for the repair of cleft palates while elucidating the role of the periosteum in bone and soft tissue healing in oral and craniomaxillofacial settings.


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