TAV Science Student Receives Internship to Work On 3D Bone Engineering

Updated: Jan 19

TAV Health Sciences student Yisca Perez was pleasantly surprised on her last day of the Winter 2019 semester when she was told that she was selected for the opportunity to be an intern at one of Montreal’s leading biotech labs, as well as the recipient of a $5,000 working scholarship.


3D PRINT BONE ENGINEERING

Perez said she received word about the opportunity via email but heavily debated if she would even apply for it because she felt her chances of being selected within the candidate pool was slim. However, her parents were ultimately the ones who pushed her to go after the opportunity. Perez received assistance with her application on how to make it more persuasive by two of TAV’s staff members, Marie-Lou Larouche (Academic Advisor) and Nima Nateghi (Science Program Coordinator). Moreover, the last day of classes for the Winter 2019 semester, Yisca was requested to attend a meeting with Dr. Nateghi and he informed her that she had won the scholarship. The internship was offered by the Fonds de recherche du Quebec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT), in cooperation with the Montreal General Hospital, under the supervision of Professor Derek Rosenzweig (Assistant professor at the Department of Surgery, McGill University). The internship focused on 3D printing bone engineering. The research is designed to discover new methods to be able to 3D print bones for disabled people who have suffered a major injury resulting in the loss of a bone. Perez said that this new technology has the capability to be life-changing.


CUSTOMIZED BONES TO FIT EXACT SPECIFICATIONS

As opposed to the current methods of bone transplant, which is damaging bones from one part of the body and transplanting it elsewhere, 3D print bone engineering will have the capability to print customized bones to fit the exact specifications of the recipient’s injury zone.



GIVEN THE WRONG PRINT MATERIALS

Perez’s task was to research different ratios of 3D print material, ABS, (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) to bone matter (hydroxyapatite), and then determine which ratio produces the best situation for positive cell growth. Unfortunately, Perez was given the wrong 3D print material: she was given ABS, however, she was supposed to be testing the ratios with PLA (Polylactic acid). The reason this 3D print material was wrong is because ABS plastic has a much higher melting point. Nonetheless, Perez stated that they (her supervisor and the laboratory staff) were very happy with the work she did throughout the summer and the project is expected to be resumed next summer by another student. Perez said that she left detailed research notes so that the selected student (to receive the same internship) in the summer of 2020 will be able to easily pick up where she left off.

As a side note, to conclude this article, the TAV College administration is always very proud and enthusiastic about honouring and sharing the stories of our students’ success in academics. We congratulate Yisca on this outstanding opportunity and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours; the sky’s the limit.

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