Design 3D synthetic hydrogel environments with biomolecular and mechanical cues to control cellular functions in physiological environments
We have four main research themes in the laboratory highlighted below. Our group employs photopolymerization techniques to create synthetic hydrogels with incorporated biomolecules and controlled structures towards engineering a wide range of tissues from the musculoskeletal to the vascularature. We have designed and built a set of custom bioreactors for which we have patented (US Patent # 8,375,851) to study cellular functions in the context of physiological environments where mechanical forces are prevalent. We also employ in vivo models to study the role of the host response in tissue engineering. Together, our overarching goal is to develop synthetic hydrogels that serve as cell-platforms and promote regeneration of functional and living tissues when placed in the body.