Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials

quoteTissue Engineering has the objective of replacing or restoring function in injured or diseased tissues. Biomaterials, particularly novel polymeric materials, are essential to the goals of tissue engineering, and also include the development of materials for controlled drug delivery and other biomedical applications. BME faculty at UVa are particularly focused on the development of tissue-engineered solutions for musculoskeletal disorders and vascular repair. These include the development of bone replacements via cell culture in bioreactors, guidance of new vasculature for nutrient delivery to the tissue-engineered constructs, and drug delivery systems. With the advent of stem cell technologies and genome-wide screening methods, new advances are likely to include tailored growth factor release systems and biomaterials incorporating optimized compositions of extracellular matrix proteins, and the use of host stem cells to guide tissue engineered solutions. This research is complemented by an outstanding materials science and engineering department, an orthopedic surgery department with excellent biomechanics and clinical research components, and a major UVa-wide initiative in Morphogenesis and Regenerative Medicine.

Primary Faculty

George Christ: muscle physiology, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine

Jeff Holmes: engineered tissues as model systems for studying mechanobiology

Jennifer Munson: in vitro models and non invasive imaging of the tumor microenvironment

Shayn Peirce-Cottler: progenitor cells in vascular tissue engineering

Richard Price: controlled-release nanoparticles for therapeutic arteriogenesis