Platform Technologies to Grow and Repair Biological Rubber Bands
Anand Ramamurthi, Professor and Department Chair Department of Bioengineering

 

Zoom Link: https://lehigh.zoom.us/j/97504643424

 

Abstract:
This seminar will summarize my laboratory’s efforts to develop matrix-engineering technologies directed at biomimetic regeneration and repair of elastic fibers and fiber networks. We seek to apply these methods to growing elastic tissues in vitro and to restoring integrity of soft tissues compromised by chronic proteolytic disruption of the structural extracellular matrix (ECM). Restoring intact elastic fibers and their higher order structures is crucial since their absence, malformation, or pathological disruption can adversely impact tissue recoil properties and cell behavior and health. At this time, we focus on regenerating complex matrix architectures vital to cardiovascular homeostasis since these tissue types have a capacity for self-repair that is far less effective than tissue-engineering principles demand.  A major challenge contributing to this deficiency is the lack of suitable tissue engineering and tools and therapeutics to overcome very poor elastin precursor synthesis by stable adult vascular cells and their poor ability replicate the biocomplexity of developmental elastogenesis. This seminar will provide an overview of our multifaceted approach to overcoming these critical challenges via the design and integration of innovative tools (e.g., biomolecular agents, biomaterial scaffolds, nanotherapeutics and stem cells) and more specifically discuss their application as a minimally-invasive, non-surgical treatment modality to treat proteolytic disorders (e.g., pelvic organ prolapse, COPD-associated non-small cell lung cancers, aortic aneurysms). This talk will focus on our ongoing efforts to arrest growth of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), which are localized and irreversible expansions of the aorta wall.

Biography:

 

Dr. Ramamurthi is the PC Rossin Professor and Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at Lehigh University. He was previously a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Molecular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio (2010-2020) and an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at Clemson University (2003-2010). 

Anand received a PhD in Chemical Engineering, from Oklahoma State University (1999) and was then an American Heart Association (AHA) postdoctoral fellow at the Cleveland Clinic where he developed glycosaminoglycan-based biomaterials for aortic heart valve tissue engineering (1999-2001). His research program is one of a handful internationally that focuses on enabling biomimetic regeneration and repair of elastic fibers and superstructures that do not naturally regenerate or repair in elastic adult tissues. His research projects span biomaterials, nanomedicine, and stem cell-based platform technologies applied to growing elastic tissue constructs on demand using in vitro tissue engineering principles or enabling biomimetic tissue repair in vivo. His lab is also involved in identifying novel mechanistic targets for multipronged downstream benefits to biomimetic elastic matrix regeneration and repair in vascular disorders, and in investigating surrogate in vivo bioreactor systems (e.g., peritoneal cavity) to study in situ vascular tissue remodeling responses to biomaterial scaffolds. These platform tissue engineering technologies are being applied to developing novel regenerative therapies to a) stabilize and reverse abdominal aortic aneurysms, b) modulating the lung tumor microenvironment in non-small cell lung cancers, & c) alleviating pelvic organ prolapse, which are studied in small animal models. Anand’s research program has been funded

 

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