Biomaterials & micro/nanofabrication

Close up of cells

Cellular mechanics and mechanobiology

Many cells in tissues are exposed to dynamic mechanical perturbations, which require constant feedback by those cells to maintain tissue function. The Alford Lab uses novel microfabrication and computational methods to better understand this cellular adaptation in development and disease.

Close-up of abdominal aorta

Tissue mechanics, aneurysms, and pain

The Barocas research group explores the relationship between tissue architecture and mechanics using multiscale computational models and mechanical experiments. Currently, they’re researching how aneurysms grow and fail, and how spinal load leads to injury or pain.

biomedical image showcasing the mucosal area.

Engineering the immune response

The Hartwell Immunoengineering Lab uses biomolecular engineering, drug delivery, and immunology to develop molecular vaccines and immunotherapies that direct the immune response towards activation or tolerance by targeting specific cells and tissues, with a focus on the mucosal immune system.

Compilation of three graphics: A graph that's an ADP map with an ms scale of 0 to 1000. A second purplish graphic taken with imaging technology shows a zoomed-in portion of the ADP map. Also an image of a 3-D printed tissue.

Bioprinting cardiac tissues

The Ogle Lab is pushing the boundaries of 3D cardiac bioprinting. They’ve created patches that can be adhered to failing hearts, which has successfully restored cardiac function in rodents. Plus, they’ve fabricated living hearts based on a human heart’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data.

Shows 4 green-blue-black images taken with imaging technology. Includes red double arrows indicating nanogroove direction. Shows non-diseased (with zoomed in region), DMD [delta]ex52-54, and DMD[delta]ex31

Engineering biomaterials to model diseases

Wei Shen’s laboratory engineers biomaterials, studies how they interact in microenvironments, and models diseases. They’ve created material for studying muscular dystrophy, a nanoparticle platform for antiviral therapy, and oxygen-releasing materials for cell-based therapy.

Rendering that shows prodrug and enzyme, interacting with one another, getting inserted into the nose. Inside, the head, it shows enz, prodrug with an arrow to drug.

Better ways to deliver drugs

The Siegel lab designs better drug delivery systems. Their nasal spray stops epileptic seizures and will likely replace current options (a shot or rectal administration). Plus, they’re developing a biodegradable pump that releases anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory factors after surgery.

Hand holding a white engineered heart valve. Person is wearing pink surgical gloves.

Living valves for growing bodies

Bob Tranquillo’s laboratory develops biologically engineered “off-the-shelf” vascular grafts, heart valves, and vein valves. They’ve shown the material, produced by skin cells, has the capacity to grow, which may transform the way pediatric congenital heart defects are treated.

Circular cells taken with imaging technology at various scales: 100nm, 100um, and 5mm. Also shows a droplet being held be a tool. All against a photo of cells taken with imaging technology.


Polymers to deliver drugs, genes, and cells

Chun Wang’s laboratory develops polymeric materials to address unmet challenges in drug delivery. For example, they’re creating biodegradable polymers for cancer immunotherapies, including vaccines, and polymer wafers that’d be taken orally to deliver proteins and genes.

Medical devices from the Living Devices Lab. Two clear devices; one with red lines and one with yellow.

Microphysiologic systems to study disease

The Living Devices Lab is focused on building benchtop systems that mimic human disease outside the human body. We use microfluidics and microfabrication to create engineered tissues in which we control biological components and transport processes at the length scale that is relevant to physiology and pathology.