Understanding network formation
Using a combination of molecular dynamics with analytical methods such as vibrational circular dichroism, we are able to understand the formation mechanism of polysaccharide hydrogels. Further characterization methods such as rheology and mechanical testing allow us to link the chemistry with the physical properties of the hydrogel materials.
Based on our extensive expertise in chemistry, we are able to modify the polysaccharide backbone at the molecular level. This permits to create materials with distinct properties that can interact with biological systems such cells or bacteria.
We have developed a hydrogel based on agarose, a seaweed-extracted polysaccharide. This hydrogel has extraordinary properties for bioprinting. In addition to developing bioink, we also focus on establishing novel paradigms for the design of bioprinted objects.
Gradient 3D Bioprinting
We have developed an extrusion method to bioprint graded objects. These objects have gradients of mechanical properties, gradient of cell concentration and gradient of biological functions.
Microwells: we have developed a series of prototypes for the transport of living cells including pancreatic islets. We have made microwells coated with biologically active proteins and oxygen releasing microwells. These have shown to support cell functions in a hypoxic environment.
Fibers: we have developed a process to electro-extrude carboxylated agarose fibers with antimicrobial ionic liquids.
In vivo therapeutic hydrogels
In vitro 3D cell culture models
We have developed a hydrogel based on agarose, a seaweed extracted polysaccharide. We can functionalize this hydrogel with cell-adhesion peptides and direct the formation of blood vessels in vitro to form 3D cell culture models. In vivo, these hydrogels can generate new blood vessels without the use of growth factors through simple injection in muscle tissue.