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Ongoing Projects

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630 million people globally suffer from osteoarthritis, resulting in eventual complete loss of cartilage between bone joints. Current articular cartilage grafts may lack mechanical integrity, limit cell infiltration, or struggle with toxicity. In addition, constant wear and tear within joints hinders tissue regrowth and necessitates that grafts and scaffolds achieve excellent form-fitting to accelerate cell ingrowth. Promising initial results suggest that MAP hydrogels may be an exciting solution to these problems and a potential therapy for osteoarthritis.

This project is funded by the UVa Center for Engineering in Medicine

In collaboration with Dr. Patrick Cottler and Dr. Brent DeGeorge in the UVa Department of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery


1. Injectable Microannealed Porous Scaffold for Articular Cartilage Regeneration

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Glottic incompetence is a common laryngeal disorder where the vocal folds no longer fully close which causes loss of speech and dysfunctional swallowing. The preferred treatment is medialization of the vocal folds with a non-invasive injection procedure. Current injectable materials are short lived due to the presence of degradative enzymes only lasting a few months.

There is a need for a permanent injectable which is biocompatible, able to be injected using the standard clinical apparatus, and mechanically matches the tissue. Based on positive initial results using MAP gel in a murine and leporine model we believe this has the potential to be a translatable therapy for glottic incompetence.

This project is funded by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation

In collaboration with Dr. James Daniero in the UVa Department of Otolarynology

1. Development of microporous annealed particle hydrogel for long-term vocal fold augmentation



Volumetric muscle loss (VML) is caused by a severe injury to skeletal muscle that surpasses the natural regenerative capacity of muscle, resulting in the permanent loss of tissue and associated function. VML injuries often result in long-term disability and high healthcare costs, and there is no effective treatment available. Focus on VML within the field of tissue engineering has increased in recent years, but inadequate vascularization, cellular infiltration, and structural support are still prominent obstacles to regeneration. We are working with MAP gel to overcome these challenges and generate an effective therapy for VML.

This project is funded by the UVa Center for Advanced Biomanufacturing

In collaboration with Dr. George Christ in the UVa Department of Biomedical Engineering

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