Donald Griffin, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, U.C. Los Angeles (2011)
B.S Biomedical Engineering, U.C. Davis (2006)

Box 800759
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22908

Office: Room 1111 Phone: 858-354-9170
Lab: Room 1213 / 1215 Phone:


Research Interests

We are creating advanced biomaterials to support both fundamental science and translational approaches to tissue regeneration. We engineer our biomaterials using a unique combination of microscale geometric control and novel chemistries. Specific research is focused on:

(i) immune-modulated dermal fibrosis resolution – fibrosis leads to decreased function in every tissue within the body as a natural damage response. Current therapies are focused on halting the progression of fibrosis, however our focus attempts to go a step further and revert fibrotic tissue to normal physiology using the body's inherent tissue remodeling toolkit.

(ii) engineering an injectable hematopoietic stem cell niche – loss of hematopoietic stem cells can be an unfortunate side effect of both disease and chemotherapy. Our focus in this sphere of research is to design an injectable and robustly effective biomaterial for both hematopoietic stem cell expansion and clinical delivery.

(iii) renewable chemotactic gradients for large volume soft tissue regeneration – acute and chronic soft tissue damage can lead to the need for large volume tissue growth and regeneration. The naturally occurring instructional environment relies on chemical gradients to direct multicellular behavior, however it is difficult to artificially maintain biochemical gradients over an indefinite repair time course. Our focus is to develop a biomaterial approach to this problem that allows for an internally maintained gradient source.

Recent Publications

Google Scholar

"Accelerated wound healing by injectable microporous gel scaffolds assembled from annealed building blocks." DR Griffin, WM Weaver, P Scumpia, D DiCarlo, T Segura, Nature Materials, 2015, 14: 737–744.

"Hybrid Photopatterned Enzymatic Reaction (HyPER) for In situ Cell Manipulation." DR Griffin, J Borrajo, A Soon, GF Acosta-Vélez, V Oshita, N Darling, J Mack, T Barker, ML Iruela-Arispe, T Segura, ChemBioChem, 2014, 15 (2): 233–242.

"Synthesis of Photodegradable Macromers for Conjugation and Release of Bioactive Molecules." DR Griffin, JL Schlosser, SF Lam, TH Nguyen, HD Maynard, AM Kasko, Biomacromolecules, 2013, 14 (4): 1199–1207.

"Photoselective Delivery of Model Therapeutics from Hydrogels." DR Griffin, AM Kasko, ACS Macro Letters, 2012, 1 (11): 1330–1334.

"Photodegradable Macromers and Hydrogels for Live Cell Encapsulation and Release." DR Griffin, AM Kasko, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2012, 134 (31): 13103–13107.