Welcome to TEBL

The Tissue Engineering & Biomaterials Laboratory is located within the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland. Our lab uses the principles of both engineering and life sciences to develop biomaterials that improve the quality of life of ill or injured patients. We begin with polymer science methods to synthesize novel hydrolytically degradable polymers and then fabricate these polymers into easily implantable biomaterials. Molecular and cellular biology principles are then incorporated to understand the interaction of cells, tissues, and higher life systems with these novel biomaterials. Areas of focus in our lab include the study of biomaterials for the delivery of therapeutics, scaffolds for orthopedic tissue engineering applications, and the interaction of biomaterials and tissues. Please use this site as both a window into the work and personnel at the Tissue Engineering & Biomaterials Laboratory as well as a gateway to bioengineering, cell biology, and biomaterials research.

Center for Engineering Complex Tissues (CECT) Launches New Website

The Center for Engineering Complex Tissues (CECT) has officially launched its new website!

The CECT is a NIBIB/NIH Biomedical Technology Research Center (BTRC) aiming to grow the 3D printing and bioprinting community. It is a joint effort between TEBL at the University of Maryland with the Biomaterials Lab at Rice University and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) at Wake Forest University. The Center is headed by TEBL PI Dr. John Fisher and features projects building on our previous work developing a tubular perfusion system (TPS) bioreactor that enables human mesenchymal stem cell expansion, their osteoblastic differentiation, and subsequent formation of boney tissue.

More information about the Center and its new website can be found here.

Fisher Named Tissue Engineering Co-Editor-in-Chief

TEBL Principal Investigator and Fischell Department of Bioengineering(BIOE) Chair John Fisher was named co-Editor-in-Chief of Tissue Engineering Parts A, B, and C, effective January 1.

Tissue Engineering is the preeminent biomedical journal advancing the field with cutting-edge research and applications on all aspects of tissue growth and regeneration. The multidisciplinary journal brings together the principles of engineering and life sciences in tissue development and regenerative medicine. Tissue Engineering is divided into three parts, providing a central forum for groundbreaking scientific research and developments of clinical applications from leading experts in the field that will enable contributions to the ultimate care of patients. Fisher will serve alongside co-Editor-in-Chief Dr. Antonios Mikos of Rice University’s Department of Bioengineering.

Fisher’s work will focus most specifically on Tissue Engineering, Part A, the authoritative peer-reviewed journal centered on the convergence of the life sciences, engineering, and medicine for the generation of viable biological tissues to better fundamentally understand and treat human disease. Part A publishes 24 issues per year.

In December, Fisher was awarded the 2017 Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine – Americas (TERMIS-AM) Senior Scientist award for his contributions to the field.

In addition to his role as BIOE chair, Fisher serves as director of the newly established National Institutes of Health-funded Biomedical Technology Resource Center (BTRC) dedicated to advancing techniques to create complex tissues and parts of the body, such as for organs and bone. Funded in part by a $6.25 million NIH grant, the Center for Engineering Complex Tissues(link is external) (CECT) aims to create a broad community focusing on 3-D printing and bioprinting for regenerative medicine applications.

Kuo Graduates with PhD

PhD student Vincent (Che-Ying) Kuo successfully defended his thesis, earning a PhD. He will be working for the Children’s National Health System researching projects on 3D bioprinting, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and placental diseases such as preeclampsia. Congratulations, Vincent!

Fisher Receives TERMIS-AM Senior Scientist Award

TEBL Principal Investigator John Fisher was named the recipient of the 2017 Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine – Americas (TERMIS-AM) Senior Scientist Award.

The award honors active contributors to the field whose body of work spans 10+ years and is well recognized by members of the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine community. Fisher formally received the award on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the TERMIS-AM annual conference and exhibition in Charlotte, N.C.

“I am truly honored to receive the TERMIS-Americas Senior Scientist Award,” Fisher said. “It is humbling to be chosen by esteemed colleagues and peers in the field, as they reflect the thoughts of those most informed by this work. I am amazed at how our efforts in biomaterials, bioreactors, and 3D printing have grown in impact over the years. And, I am moved by the support I have received – from academic mentors, our lab researchers, and from my family; their support has made all of this possible.”

In addition to his role as PI, Fisher is the chair of the Bioengineering Department and serves as Fischell Family Distinguished Professor and director of a newly established National Institutes of Health-funded Biomedical Technology Resource Center (BTRC) dedicated to advancing techniques to create complex tissues and parts for the body, such as for organs and bone. Funded in part by a $6.25 million NIH grant, the Center for Engineering Complex Tissues (CECT)(link is external) aims to create a broad community focusing on 3D printing and bioprinting for regenerative medicine applications.

In his role as director of the Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Laboratory, Fisher works with his research group to investigate biomaterials, stem cells, bioprinting and bioreactors for the regeneration of lost tissues, particularly bone, cartilage, and cardiovascular tissues. Most recently, Fisher’s laboratory has worked on developing strategies for the 3D printing of a variety of tissue engineering biomaterials and scaffolds. Overall, the laboratory has published more than 140 articles, book chapters, and proceedings, and delivered over 285 invited and contributed presentations while utilizing $15 million in financial support from NIH, the National Science Foundation, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Department of Defense, and others.

Fisher currently serves as Chair Elect of TERMIS-AM. His work and contributions to the field were recently highlighted in Baltimore’s National Public Radio station’s On the Record program(link is external).

Lembong, Santoro Awarded MSCRF Fellowships

Congratulations to Dr. Josephine Lembong and Dr. Marco Santoro, both postdoctoral fellows in our lab, for winning fellowships from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF)! Josephine’s proposal was titled “Stem Cell Expansion and Differentiation in Bioreactors via Coupling of Substrate Curvature and Shear Stress” while Marco’s was titled “Development of Tissue-Engineered Vascularized Scaffolds via 3D Printing of Endothelial/Stem Cells”. These fellowships will support their ongoing efforts in the lab.

For a full list of 2017 Awardees, visit the MSCRF Website.

Bracaglia Graduates with PhD

PhD student Laurie Bracaglia successfully defended her thesis titled “Development Of Hybrid Biomaterials For Reconstruction Of Cardiovascular Tissue” Congratulations to Laurie!

TEBL to Lead $6.25 Million, NIH-Funded Center for Engineering Complex Tissues

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—The University of Maryland (UMD) announced today that it will lead a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Biomedical Technology Resource Center (BTRC) aimed at advancing techniques to create complex tissues and parts for the body, such as for organs and bone. The NIH awarded a $6.25 million grant to the newly established Center for Engineering Complex Tissues (CECT), for which Rice University and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) will serve as key partners.

“For years, tissue engineers have worked to improve quality of life for millions impacted by illness or trauma,” said John P. Fisher, CECT director and Fischell Family Distinguished Professor and Chair of UMD’s Fischell Department of Bioengineering. “By bringing together experts in bioengineering, biomaterials, and additive manufacturing, CECT will serve a critical role in fostering the kind of technological advancement that has the potential to transform how bones, tissue, and organs are repaired or replaced.”

Alongside Fisher, Rice University Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Antonios Mikos will serve as the center’s associate director. Anthony Atala, WFIRM director, and James Yoo, WFIRM associate director, will serve as co-principal investigators. Curt Civin, director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, will also provide collaborative support as part of the MPowering the State partnership between the University of Maryland, College Park and Baltimore campuses.

Building on the group’s longstanding bioengineering, biomaterials, and additive manufacturing expertise, the center will serve as a national hub for transforming current tissue engineering and 3-D printing technologies into new and improved platforms for everyday uses in regenerative medicine.

3-D bioprinting – a technology application through which engineers create cell patterns in a confined space using 3-D printing – offers new avenues through which engineers can respond to the growing need for tissues and organs suitable for transplantation. While still a young frontier in regenerative medicine, 3-D bioprinting offers hope that one day human health advancements will no longer be mired by organ donation shortages or organ transplant incompatibility.

“CECT is unique as it focuses both on the engineering of complex tissues and on the growing field of bioprinting,” Mikos said. “This grant is a great opportunity and responsibility to further develop the field and move it to the clinic.”

At the core of CECT’s research capabilities are three technology research and development projects that will promote development across three main biological systems: stem cell culture (UMD), fabrication of cellular constructs (WFIRM), and construction of heterogeneous tissue scaffolds (Rice). Additionally, CECT will oversee six collaborative projects, six service projects, and multiple training programs to foster expert collaboration for the advancement of tissue engineering.

“We are proud to be part of this collaborative effort to advance the field of 3-D bioprinting,” Atala said. “We believe bioprinting represents one of the most promising strategies for increasing the number of patients who can benefit from replacement tissues and organs.”

“Many of today’s most transformative advancements in human health came to life because leaders in STEM worked collaboratively to share knowledge, ideas, and creative vision,” said Darryll J. Pines, Dean of the University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering. “CECT will play a key role in bringing together innovators from a variety of science and engineering disciplines who are working to address a critical health need.”

Article originally from: Fischell Department of Bioengineering.

Bracaglia elected SYIS-AM Chair

Graduate Student Laurie Bracaglia was elected as the Chair of the Student and Young Investigators Section – Americas Chapter this past December during the annual Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society – Americas Chapter (TERMIS-AM) meeting. Laurie will serve as chair for the next year, through the end of 2017. Congratulations!

More information on SYIS can be found on the TERMIS official website.