College of Engineering

BMEBT Seminar Presentation by Dr. George Pins, WPI

Date(s): 3/26/2013 11:00 AM - 3/26/201312:00 PM
Location: Textiles Conference Room - 101E
Contact: Dr. Sankha Bhowmick 508-999-8619

TOPIC: Microengineering Biopolymer Scaffolds: Tools to Enhance Tissue Regeneration

Designing highly functional scaffolds for tissue engineering requires a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms by which the three-dimensional (3D) architecture and the biochemical composition of the tissue scaffolds modulate cellular adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation, as well as the regeneration of native tissue functions. We developed novel biomimetic design strategies and fabrication processes to create collagen and fibrin scaffolds with precise 3D features that emulate native tissue architecture and cellular microenvironments. For example, we designed microfabricated dermal-epidermal regeneration matrices (mDERMs) that mimic basement membrane structures to direct keratinocyte stem cell clustering and to enhance the performance of bioengineered skin substitutes. We also engineered novel biopolymer microthreads that are being used to deliver stem cells and to facilitate myocardial or skeletal muscle tissue regeneration. Finally, these scaffolds are used as in vitro model systems to predict cellular and tissue responses to implantable biomaterials for the repair of soft tissues including skeletal muscle, tendon, ligament and skin.

Brief Bio:
George Pins is an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering at WPI where he directs the Biomaterials/Tissue Engineering Lab. His research focuses on using biomimetic design strategies and innovation fabrication processes to develop engineered replacements for damaged tissues and organs. He is currently creating three-dimensional scaffolds that regenerate tissue by mimicking native tissue architecture and preserving cellular microenvironments. These scaffolds will enable the development of 3D tissue model systems and bioengineered tissue analogs to direct the regeneration of damaged tissues and organs, including skin, tendons, ligaments, skeletal muscle and myocardial tissue. This research has been funded by the Whitaker Foundation, NIH, NSF, DoD, and others. Prior to joining WPI, Professor Pins was a research scientist at Tensegra, Inc., in Norwood, MA where he worked on the development of several medical devices including hydrocephalus shunt filters and artificial disk replacements. Professor Pins received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University, and completed his post-doctoral training in tissue engineering at the Center for Engineering in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Shriners Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

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