Research Objectives

The research objectives are to advance knowledge and its commercialization in our core areas of expertise: Cell Manufacturing, Biomaterials, Tissue Mimetics.

To advance cell manufacturing: Stem cells have emerged as the starting materials of choice for bioprocesses to produce cells and tissues. Translating the biological properties and potential of stem cells will require overcoming significant cell manufacturing and regulatory challenges. Bioprocess engineering fundamentals including bioreactor design and process control need to be combined with cellular systems biology principles to guide the development of next-generation technologies capable of producing cell-based products in a safe, robust and cost effective manner. The step-wise implementation of these bioengineering strategies will enhance cell therapy product quality and safety, expediting clinical development.

To advance biomaterials design: Biomaterials play significant roles both in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, biomaterials can be designed with the physical, chemical and mechanical properties to promote cell differentiation while in vivo, biomaterials have been shown to guide the cell and tissue response. We will focus on designing biomatertials for optimal cell culture and with intrinsic pro-survival (or therapeutic) properties. This will be done in concert with cell manufacturing considerations and/or tissue mimetics.


To advance tissue mimetics: The 3D microenvironment will be probed to mimic tissue, thereby providing high-fidelity models of mature tissues (i.e., hypertrophic myocardium, brain tissue) for high content and high throughput chemical screens in drug discovery, drug screening and toxicity. Manufacturing in a scalable and high throughput manner will see synergism between researchers working in cell manufacturing and biomaterials.