PI Antonio D’Amore, PhD
Collaborator William R. Wagner, PhD
Title Structure-Function Controlled Scaffolds for Improved Soft Tissue Remodeling
Summary: This research plan focuses on conduction on and mechanical stimulation in engineered soft tissues. Only a few soft tissue regeneration attempts have shown enough promise to enter both the clinic and the market, with the vast majority of efforts in this field presently limited to the realm of academic and industrial research laboratories. There is now a shared awareness for the need of a major paradigm shift from a “trial and error” approach to a more rational and effective design of tissue surrogates. In parallel, it has become increasingly evident that the state of the art in our understanding of and ability to control the interactions at the cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interface is inadequate.
We propose here the use of a Structure-Function Controlled (SFC) electrospun PECUU scaffold to improve the in vivo performance of engineered scaffolds for soft tissue regeneration. More specifically we aim to achieve (1) better organ level functionality (e.g. more physiological echocardiographic/angiographic indicators, regional/static compliance better matching the native tissue), (2) improved micro-structure at tissue level (e.g. level of structural and mechanical anisotropy recapitulating the native tissues), (3) enhanced ECM formation (e.g. higher collagen mass, more mature collagen type). The overall objective of this proposal is to address unanswered questions of critical importance for the field: Can an engineered construct be designed on the basis of criteria involving its microstructure? How much control can we exert on the fabrication processes? Can an improved ECM micro-environment promote constructive remodeling? If so what is the impact on specific in vivo applications? This will be accomplished by leveraging our unique capacity to characterize, fabricate and predict structure function relationships in scaffolds.
Source: RiMed Foundation
Term 02/01/2013 – 01/31/2014