Bone Tissue Engineering Center Overview
Blending the background and talents of molecular cell biologists, polymer chemists, clinicians and engineers, our research focuses on understanding the molecular basis for bone formation and wound healing, and applying this knowledge to engineer tissues using therapeutic systems of biomaterials, cells and signaling molecules.
Our mission is to develop technologies that will translate into safe and effective clinical therapies. The bone and cartilage clinical therapies will treat developmental deformities, ablative injuries, degenerative changes, tendon and ligament healing, hypoplastic fat, and vascular insufficiencies. The center encourages the transfer of developed technologies and treatments to enable new biotechnology ventures that will provide jobs and stimulate regional economic development.
There are multiple projects underway that focus on the use of novel biomaterials and engineering tools to create experimental test-beds, design and analyze complex systems, create novel materials, and field therapeutic systems. Two projects include:
Polymer/Ceramic Composites: Biodegradable polymer/ceramic composites are being developed with several goals. The first is to determine a better understanding of the nature of polymer/ceramic interfaces. The second goal is to obtain a bone tissue-engineered substitute with osteoconductive properties as well as superior surgical handling properties.
Tissue Engineering and Cryopreservation: This research is exploring alternatives for developing engineering tools to avoid fracturing in cryopreservation of engineered tissue. Cryopreservation is considered to be one promising technique for long term storage of engineered tissues. Fracturing due to thermo mechanical stress is a well known phenomenon in cryopreservation of larger tissue segments, hence, this line of research is directed to preservation of engineered tissues of a significant size.