Mechanobiology and Extracellular Matrix Remodeling in Disease

The health and viability of soft tissues are closely governed by the mechanobiology of cells and their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM). It is also known that the organization and stiffness of the ECM play an integral role in many human diseases. Research efforts within the STBL are therefore focused on identifying the structure function relationships of the ECM and how this plays a role in human disease. In this theme of research, advances in bioengineering are established in the STBL by seamlessly integrating state-of-the-art techniques in intra-vital nonlinear optical microscopy (multiphoton imaging), tissue characterization, cell mechanobiology, and finite element modeling.

Design and Biomanufacturing of Engineered Tissue

The structure function relationships of the ECM as described above are then used by our laboratory to biomanufacture soft tissues for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering purposes. The STBL utilizes several biomanufacturing tools in this endeavor including but not limited to electrospinning, two photon polymerization, spray phase separation, and 3D bioprinting. A tightly integrated experimental and computational optimization approach is utilized to fabricate the next generation of engineered tissues to treat human disease.