Our research program stands on four principles:

  • Sustainable design of functional biomaterials based on biosourced and bioinspired materials

  • Comprehensive material characterization from molecular scale to nano, micro and macro scale

  • Conducting translational studies in biomedical engineering

  • Focusing on long-lasting and ever-growing problems with significant socioeconomic impacts

Biomaterial development and testing

Current projects

Multifunctional osteoarthritis treatments

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive musculoskeletal disorder and is expected to be the most dominant cause of disability in the world’s aging population by 2030. It is known that OA progression is driven by both mechanical and biological pathways. In this project, using nature-derived polymers, we develop various soft biomaterials that target both mechanical and biological factors contributing to OA. For example, dual-functional drug delivery system that can be administered intra-articularly, and both lubricate the synovial joints and release therapeutic agents in a time-controlled manner is highly desirable for OA treatment.

Wound management and bleeding control

Adhesives that can strongly bond to biological tissues would have broad applications ranging from tissue repair to wound dressings and implanting biomedical devices. However, a significant challenge is that these adhesives must function under aqueous condition, which limits the chemistries that we can use to design them. Fortunately, nature serves as a source of inspiration. Inspired by intermolecular interactions that mussels use in their superadhesive foot proteins under water, we combine various attrative physicochemical and biological interactions in biosourced materials to design an adhesive hydrogel that adheres to biological surfaces under various bleeding conditions.

Antifouling coatings

Fouling on biomedical surfaces is a process that is often initiated by nonspecific adsorption of proteins and bacteria on the implant surface followed by biofilm formation. More than 45 percent of hospital-contracted infections are traced to biofilm-infected medical devices. It is estimated that 10 percent of hospital patients will contract an infection from a clinical implant, such as a urethral catheter, tracheal tube or vascular catheter.In this project, using highly hydrated naturally-derived polymers, we investigate various chemistries and polymer functional groups to discover antifouling materials for coating complex 3D shapes. In addition, to producing ultra-low fouling coatings, our objective is to enhance the stability of coatings on complex geometries.