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Keynote Session I  Innovative Biomaterials

ECM-derived materials and their application in regenerative medicine

Prof. Dr. Jennifer Elisseeff

Johns Hopkins University

Wilmer Eye Institute and Department of Biomedical Engineering
Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering and Orthopedic Surgery
Director, Translational Tissue Engineering Center (TTEC)



Biomaterials and Stem Cells for Tissue Engineering: Tissue and organ loss due to trauma, disease, and congenital abnormalities remains a significant clinical problem. Tissue engineering is a multidisciplinary field that aims to regenerate tissues and organs using the general approach of seeding cells on a scaffold. The scaffold serves many purposes including a three dimensional environment, soluble and insoluble cues to control cell function, maintenance of shape, and mechanical protection.  We are examining hydrogels as a scaffold for tissue engineering. Advantages of hydrogels are the ability to encapsulate cells, high water content for nutrient and waste transport, and the ability to implant in a minimally invasive manner. Previous research focused on the development of photopolymerizing poly(ethylene oxide) for minimally invasive scaffold implantation and cartilage tissue engineering. The lab is currently focused on developing synthetic-biological hydrogels with highly controlled physical properties and biological function.  The discovery of human embryonic stem cells has created the possibility to regenerate any tissue from a single, totipotent cell population.  We are examining the potential of using biomaterials for stem cell differentiation and engineering mesenchymal tissues.  Finally, our goal is to translate this knowledge to clinically-practically technologies to improve patient care.