Program 2: Tissue Engineering and 3D Microtissue Modeling
Design and development of functional, biomimetic biomaterials with tissue and disease modification activities for cell-based tissue engineering, and development of organotypic culture models of neuromusculoskeletal and related tissues amenable to study of disease pathogenesis and the testing and screening of candidate therapeutic agent
Dr. Chan has developed innovative microfluidic technologies to perform 3D spheroid culture of mesenchymal stem cells and hepatocytes and examined the functional role of specific extracellular matrix components. He will be applying his expertise to establish a microphysiological system containing a 3D human skeletal muscle tissue (3DSM) by culturing primary human myoblast in a fibrin-based hydrogel for a biomimetic platform drug toxicity testing.
The Ker laboratory has extensive experience in biomaterials development and computer vision-based approaches for musculoskeletal and vascular tissue repair, including biomaterial design and mechanical and geometric cue optimization, and biopatterning of growth factor. This experience will be applied in a combinatorial approach to engineer suture buttons and hierarchical, vascularized muscle flaps for tissue repair.
Prof. Dongan Wang research focuses on biomaterials for tissue engineering, therapeutic cell and nucleic acid delivery, as well as engineered biomimetic tissue platforms for in vitro drug evaluation. Particularly, Prof. Wang has developed bona fide hyaline articular cartilage graft that has been validated on pre-clinical level and now entering clinical trials.
Dr. Wang has published experience in osteoimmunology, cell-matrix interactions, and regenerative medicine in bone-tendon tissue unit repair, illustrated by her recent work on the signaling mechanism of tendon extracellular matrix to induce tenogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells. Her CNRM project will apply her experience in damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) released from stressed cells and damaged extracellular matrix to design a DAMP-targeting, pro-regenerative hydrogel matrix to treat both early stage and chronic tendon degeneration, a major clinical challenge in musculoskeletal medicine.