Bruce Lee (Bio Med) traveled to the 9th International Conference on Materials for Advanced Technologies in Singapore from June 18-23, 2017, to give an invited talk entitled “Stimuli Responsive Biomaterials Utilizing Mussel Adhesive Chemistry”. Additionally, Lee also chaired one session in the “Stimuli Sensitive and Responsive Polymer Biomaterials” symposium in the conference.
Replacement of diseased tissue requires that the implanted material not only have the proper mechanical strength, but it must also have a functioning blood distribution network (vasculature; veins, capillaries), and these are often difficult to manufacture. This project will seek to understand and mimic the structure and vasculature of three-dimensional (3D) cardiac tissue. The goal is to engineer a mechanically strong and functional cell patch for the regeneration of damaged heart tissue.
The proposed research will also provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as underrepresented community college students, to be involved in interdisciplinary stem cell and tissue engineering research. In addition, a series of seminars will be hosted to increase stem cell and tissue engineering awareness among the health community and public in the UP (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan.
The overall objective of the project is to create aligned nanofibrous natural extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffolds for the biofabrication of a prevascularized anisotropic stem cell patch and elucidate the mechanism of microvessel orientation within the in vivo microenvironment. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are immunoregulatory, regenerative, effective in promoting myocardial regeneration, and function as pericytes to stabilize the microvessels formed by endothelial cells (ECs). These unique properties enable hMSCs to combine with ECM scaffolds and ECs to biofabricate an off-the-shelf or patient-specific prevascularized patch, in which hMSCs will play a dual role of stabilizing vasculature formed by ECs in vitro and orchestrating the regeneration of dead cardiac tissue after implantation. In this project, hMSCs will be co-cultured with ECs in a nanofibrous ECM scaffold to form an aligned capillary-like vasculature, and the effects of aligned nanofibers on the density, orientation and maturation of the microvessels will be investigated. The prevascularized hMSC sheets will be multi-layered and further matured in a perfusion bioreactor, and the role of physiological interstitial flow on the inter-connections, alignment and maturation of the existing microvessels within the 3D biomimetic tissue platform will be evaluated. If successful, this project could lead to the development of personalized or off-the-shelf cardiac tissue patches that could dramatically increase the success rate for the treatment of dead cardiac muscle associated with heart attacks.
Dr. Xing and Zhao et al. of Michigan Tech University have published a paper entitled: “Aligned Nanofibrous Cell-Derived Extracellular Matrix for Anisotropic Vascular Graft Construction”
The research group was successful in generating a vascular graft with biomimetic circumferential tensile strength and expression of smooth muscle cell specific genes over static culture.
In previous studies, fibroblast cells were used to create vascular grafts by wrapping a decellularized fibroblast seeded matrix sheet around a temporary mandrel into tubes.
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Keat Ghee Ong (Bio Med/LSTI), is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $467,660 research and development grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.
The project is titled “Mechanically Active Magnetoelastic System for Controlled Loading Environment to Promote Vascularized Bone Regeneration.” This is a three-year project.
By Sponsored Programs.
Lee chaired a session entitled “Bioadhesive Chemistry” and was elected vice chair of the Bioadhesion Division within the Adhesion Society. Lee will serve as the chair of the division in the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Adhesion Society in 2019.
Liu gave an oral presentation entitled “Moldable Nanocomposite PEG Hydrogel Formed by Mussel-Inspired Chemistry as Fit-to-Shape Sealant.”
He gave an oral presentation entitled “Development of a Novel Fibrin-polydopamine Adhesive Hydrogel for Marine Tracking and Wound Healing Applications,” a project directed by Rupak Rajachar (Bio Med).
Rupak Rajachar (Bio Med) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $23,000 research and development grant from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The project is “Developing a Biocompatible Large Whale Tracking Tag.”
This is a 15-month project.
By Sponsored Programs.
Hao Meng, Yuan Liu and Bruce P. Lee have co-authored “Model Polymer System for Investigating the Generation of Hydrogen Peroxide and its Biological Responses during the Crosslinking of Mussel Adhesive Moiety” in Acta Biomaterialia.
To harvest the unique underwater adhesive properties of mussel adhesive proteins, scientists have designed various synthetic mimics of these proteins to create novel biomedical adhesives, drug carriers, and tissue engineering scaffolds.
The team designed a model system to systemically characterize the biocompatibility and biological responses associated with the byproduct (i.e., hydrogen peroxide) generated during the curing process of biomimetic adhesive moieties.
Hydrogen peroxide is an important biological molecule with multiple biological functions (i.e., wound healing, disinfectant, etc.). This is the first report to characterize the release of hydrogen peroxide during the curing process of the mussel adhesive moieties; however, the biocompatibility of these biomimetic materials have not been fully characterized.
Bruce P. Lee and Pegah Kord Forooshani published “Recent Approaches in Designing Bioadhesive Materials Inspired by Mussel Adhesive Protein” in the Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry.
Mussels can bind to various wet surfaces, such as a ship hull or rock, through the secretion of adhesive proteins.
This paper reviews the remarkable underwater adhesion of these proteins, which have inspired many scientists to incorporate such unique chemistries into the design of a wide range of materials. The chemistry extents to biomaterials, such as adhesives, coatings, and therapeutic drug carriers, as well as to smart materials, like smart adhesives, actuators, and self-healing materials.
This is an invited and peer-reviewed review article which provides a comprehensive and updated information on how the adhesive proteins function and methods for using these designs to create new and improved functional materials.
Bruce Lee (Bio Med) and graduate student Ameya Narkar (Bio Med) coauthored the paper “pH Responsive and Oxidation Resistant Wet Adhesive based on Reversible Catechol-Boronate Complexation.” The paper was published in Chemistry of Materials. This paper was also coauthored by Tech alumni Brett Barker and Matthew Clisch, as well as Jingfeng Jiang (Bio Med).
Could 3D Printing Provide an Alternative to Plaster Casts?
Anyone who has ever had a broken arm, sprained ankle or anything that requires wearing a cast undoubtedly remembers how uncomfortable it was. Sure, it was fun to get everyone’s signature on your arm or leg, but that didn’t make up for the itchiness, the rash and the difficulties involved when taking a shower. A bright team of engineers at Michigan Technological University thought there had to be a better solution, and came up with a lightweight, porous, 3D-printed alternative instead.
Dr. Jingfeng Jiang, leader of the project, commented: “The Lightweight Structures Module enabled us to rapidly design and create prototypes of these orthopaedic casts given any patient-specific wrist geometry. Furthermore, the software allowed us to export the virtual design directly to ANSYS for FEA analysis, so that we could make sure the model was strong enough to withstand different loading conditions.”