Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Engineering


Robert Crockett


Mammary epithelial cells are highly efficient secreting cells. This natural phenomenon has triggered research efforts to focus on using these cells to assist in the production of viable liquids. The application of this technology is nearly endless. If developed successfully, mammary epithelial cells could be used by industries from farming to pharmacology.

The feasibility of culturing epithelial mammary cells which secrete within a three-dimensional scaffold was investigated and is documented within this paper. A biocompatible film with suitable mechanical characteristics and processing properties for use in a bioreactor was developed through multiple iterations. The film that was developed also withstands extended periods of time in an aqueous solution at 37 degrees Celsius (the incubation temperature for epithelial cell lines) and can be optimized for cell survival (adjustable permeability). A prototype of a self-contained system that facilitates the growth of epithelial mammary cells and promotes their secretion of lipid proteins was also developed through this exploratory research.