SEM morphology of the MG-63 osteoblast-like cells cultured on the bioactive drug-eluting chitosan-based coatings for 4 days; multiple filopodia extended from the cell surface to the substrate and neighboring cells.
Our research lies at the interface of materials and biomedical engineering. The focus of the Bioenegineering group centers on the creation and application of novel advanced biomaterials which are capable of supporting the attachment of cells to their surfaces and to serve as the milieu for cell culture, differentiation and growth. To accomplish this goal, our group seeks to develop tissue engineered scaffolds and implantable materials that can potentially support repair and regeneration of the bone, skin and cartilage. Our mission as materials scientists and engineers is to tackle the problems faced in the materials design, materials selection and characterization in terms of physical, chemical as well as biological properties. In addition, our lab seeks to pursue studies in the field of drug delivery systems and have worked extensively on bringing the two fields of tissue engineering and drug delivery together. The marriage of both the fields have led to the publication of more than twenty five journal papers, ten international conference presentations, one patent and one book chapter.
Current research projects include:
Bio- composite Fibers: Electrospinning has been envisaged as one of the promising processing routes to fabricate bio-nano composites especially developed to be exploited in the field of medicine and tissue engineering as it offers versatile properties that provide a unique environment for the growth of cells. Nevertheless, to make the most of this state of the art technique, the role of materials, in terms of biocompatibility, should not be understated. Thus, various materials are tested and mats are fabricated. Electrospun fibers are then characterized with SEM, FTIR, UV-vis, XRD, etc. In vitro tests such as MTT assay, cell adhesion and cell proliferation are to be conducted in the following steps. The tissue engineered fibers are to be used in the skin, bone, cartilage or wound dressing materials.
Bioactive Coatings: Our group is focusing on the development of novel drug eluting chitosan based coatings for enhancing the bioactive properties of implants. The coating enables the implant to inhibit the bacterial adhesion as well as encouraging the activity of osteoblast cells.
Biocompatible Hydrogels: Development of tailored injectable PEG-based hydrogel with enhanced mechanical and structural properties close to articular cartilage tissue, loaded by coagulation factor VII is our main mission. Considering the low half-life time of factor VII, we are working to increase its half-life time in order to make it able to release gradually, while maintaining its activity. Thus, we would be able to load it on the produced hydrogel. Meantime, we are working on producing nano-hybrid BSA Conjugated Poly-(ethylene oxide) System as an Advanced Gene Transfection Agent and drug carries.