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Single Cells as Biological Probes for Engineering Regenerative Biomaterials


Due to a limited understanding of how cells respond to simultaneous physical and biochemical factors, it is challenging to engineer environments that reliably control cell behavior. Our lab designs complex biomaterials and develops single-cell analysis techniques to investigate how multifactorial stimuli impacts cell signaling and stem cell differentiation. Our research bridges the fields of cell biology and materials science and focuses on fundamental and applied science.

Research Area 1: Investigating the effects of multifactorial stimuli on cell signaling.


  • Biomaterial properties play a large role in cell behavior. We are interested in developing imaging-based techniques to discover relationships between the organization of intracellular components and biomaterial properties. By identifying biomaterial-guided cell structure-function relationships, single cells can act as biomarkers of how cells will respond to engineered environments. 

Research Area 2: High-throughput platforms to identify regenerative biomaterials.


  • Due to a limited understanding of how cells respond to multiple stimuli, it is challenging to design biomaterials that reliably regulate cell behavior. Our laboratory is developing tools to rapidly test the combinatorial effects of physical and biochemical signals on stem cell differentiation into tissue-producing cell types. These systems will enable the screening of multiple conditions to identify biomaterials with broad applicability in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Research Area 3: Minimally invasive techniques for delivering tissue-producing materials.

  • There is a need for minimally invasive interventions to treat the degeneration of connective tissues. In our lab we are interested in the development of injectable therapeutics to locally deliver biologics that promote bone and cartilage regeneration. This area of research has an emphasis on developing outpatient procedures to treat osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, thereby promoting patient compliance and a significant reduction in medical cost.

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