Biomaterials Day 2016

Speaker Abstracts

How Surface Features of a Biomaterial Regulate Musculoskeletal Cells and Tissues: What Does This Mean for Implants in Bone?

Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D.

School of Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


            Materials that are used in orthopedic and dental implants that interface with biological tissues are designed to be biocompatible and optimally, to not elicit a negative tissue response.  For those devices that are intended to interface with bone, the goal is to achieve osseointegration, resulting in mechanical stability.  This interface occurs at the macroscale via mechanical interlock, at the microscale via specific interactions with bone cells, and at the nanoscale, which serves as a fine tuning mechanism modulating cell activity.  The properties of the material surface are critical in determining how cells interact with the implant and how they signal other cells in the surrounding clot and bone bed to facilitate bone formation and remodeling, thereby achieving optimal osseointegration.  This presentation will focus on microscale and nanoscale physical properties and chemistry of materials commonly used in devices for dental reconstruction and interbody fusion and how they impact macrophage, MSC and osteoblast response, and ultimately bone remodeling. 






Translation and Commercialization of Adipose-derived Cell Therapies:  What is Taking So Long?

Adam Katz, M.D.

Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL



            Adipose-derived cells (SVF; ASCs) possess similar biological properties and therapeutic potential as other adult tissue-derived stem cells, but have relative advantages of accessibility, abundance, expendability and donor appeal.  This presentation will provide an overview of the history, characterization, biology and therapeutic potential of human ASCs, including a summary of their use in clinical trials and varying therapeutic strategies.  Additional attention will be given to the importance of collaboration, and various challenges related to the translation and commercialization of cell therapies.






Controlling Controlled Release to Make Medicine that Imitates Life

Steven Little, Ph.D.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Opthalmology, Immunology, and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


                Biomimetics (loosely defined) is the emulation of biological elements or processes to solve human problems. Our research group intends to reproduce the basic spatio-temporal information transfer that naturally occurs between the cells in our body to regulate biological form and function. As it stands, such is out of the reach of modern medicine. Accordingly, this seminar will introduce the idea that it is now possible to engineer synthetic constructs that can mimic the prose and context of cell-driven “communication” with the goal of inducing and/or regulating key biological processes. As just one example, simple temporal control over the release of specific growth factors can induce robust formation of specific tissues that naturally regenerate via stage-wise processes. This is possible using recent advances in the precise design of controlled release formulations. In the same way, this concept can also be used to reproduce spatial information that cells (and even tumors) employ to manipulate immunological responses. Collectively, these new tools can effectively reproduce biological context and have already shown significant promise as next-generation medical treatments in a variety of disease models where current medical treatments have no answer.






Organs on a Chip and Microphysiological Systems for High Content Drug Screening

Kevin Healy, Ph.D.

Departments of Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA


            Drug discovery and development are hampered by high failure rates attributed to reliance on non-human animal models employed during safety and efficacy testing. With the discovery of patient-specific human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, we can now develop in vitro disease specific tissue models to be used for high content drug screening and patient specific medicine. This presentation will discuss our progress in developing integrated in vitro models of human cardiac and liver tissue based on populations of normal and patient specific hiPS cells differentiated into cardiomyocytes or hepatocytes, respectively. Our in vitro integrated physiological system has the potential to significantly reduce both the cost and duration of bringing a new drug candidate to market.






Self-Organized Bio-Nano Interfaces: From Surfaces to Biologically Integrated Hybrid Materials

Candan Tamerler, Ph.D.

Mechanical Engineering Department and Bioengineering Research Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS


                Biological material systems promise the possibility of developing innovative materials that simultaneously self-assemble, self-organize and self-regulate; characteristics that are difficult to achieve in purely synthetic systems. Proteins play an essential role in fabrication of biological materials due to their diverse functions ranging from structural to biochemical. The ability to mimic any of these functions can be a game changer in designing hybrid materials. There are several challenges in these strategies including replicating the hierarchical organization of biological materials, organization that provides multi-scale structure/property interdependence. The interfacial interactions become critical in tuning the individual components towards the functional needs. There is a need for strategies that can control self-organization at a molecular level and thus provide programming the biological and inorganic interfaces. In the recent years, there has been a proliferating interest in creating advanced bio-interfaces resolving protein modulated material surfaces that allow as well as enhance favorable interactions with the surrounding biological systems. Smaller protein domains, i.e. peptides, have been utilized as the key fundamental building blocks to mimic the molecular recognition as the basis of molecular scale interactions.

            Following nature’s molecular footsteps, we explore tuning peptide directed interactions at the bio- interfaces to create functional bio-hybrid systems. Our approach includes decoding the peptide-material interactions, and using these foundations to develop self-organized and functional hybrid systems. Building upon the modularity of protein domains, we design single to multifunctional chimeric peptides or recombinant fusion proteins. Armed with an extensive array of multifunctional molecular units, we tackle different technological areas built upon designing biomolecular-inorganic interfaces. In this talk, I will describe some of our work on understanding the interactions of peptides with the surfaces as well as provide examples from our studies on different applications. The specific examples will include biofunctionalization of surfaces with bioactive as well as bio-repulsive attributes, protein/peptide based hybrid nanoassenblies for targeting and sensing, nanofibers that are integrated with fluorescence proteins and nanoparticles pairs and bioenabled mineralization. The integration of biological building blocks may allow harnessing the extraordinary diversity and protein functions to generate smart bio-hybrid materials for wide range of applications including sensing and tissue engineering applications.


​Society for Biomaterials​

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