Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering
In the bone tissue engineering frontier, conventional tissue engineered scaffolds for bone have limited tissue ingrowth due to restrained nutrient supply imposed by intrinsic geometrical and structural characteristics. We have developed novel structured scaffolds. The design provides open gaps that provide sufficient space for nutrient supply and waste removal. Furthermore, the incorporation of nanofibers within the scaffolds empowers the system with more functions: forming biomimetic ECM analogs for enhanced regeneration, acting as growth factor carrier for improved mineralization and bone vascularization.
On the same lines we are also developing in vitro and in situ gelling hydrogel systems for spinal fusion and nucleus pulpous regeneration, which can minimize long term implications with current spinal reestablishment platforms.
Neural Tissue Engineering
We have developed graft substitutes for peripheral nerve injuries, by creating nanofibrous scaffolds with enhanced surface areas and open wall and gap morphologies for increased media influx and waste removal. We have also employed a rotating wall bioreactor system, to enhance the proliferation of support cells on the surface of the scaffolds to enhance and hasten the regeneration process.
We have been developing multifunctional nanoparticles for targeting, detection and delivery of anti-tumoral agents locally to breast and colon cancer. Our approaches for fabrication of nanoparticles include multifunctional micelles and a layer-by –layer electrostatic deposition approach to create nanoparticles containing gold (for detection) and Doxorubicin for treatment of cancer. In the future we would be characterizing these molecules and include other potentially helpful tools for targeting the nanoparticles to tumor and study the application in more detail.
Illustration: Multifunctional micelle-like nanoparticles with gold (yellow circles) and an anti-tumor agent (blue circles).