Heilshorn Biomaterials Group

Materials Science & Engineering Department
Stanford University

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Patrick Benitez

email: patrick.benitez AT stanford DOT edu

Dept: Bioengineering

B.S.E.  Chemical Engineering
     Princeton University

The inability to engineer microvasculature prevents clinical translation of the ground-breaking discoveries in regenerative medicine because all tissue-engineered implants larger than 200 micrometers require vascular perfusion. Previous attempts to achieve clinically useful microvasculature, which primarily focus on growth factor delivery, have gleaned promising results, but novel strategies are still needed. To meet this outstanding need, we are investigating bulk, nanoscale ligand patterning of three-dimensional protein scaffolds as a promoter of sprouting angiogenesis in vitro. To fabricate these novel biomaterials, we are elaborating on existing electrospinning techniques and protein-engineered polymers. Electrospun fibers mimic the nanoscale mechanics and topography of the native extracellular matrix and can be synthesized with radial or lateral compartments; protein-engineered polymers, when spun into nanofibers, enable nanoscale patterning of ligands for cell-matrix adhesion, cell-cell signaling, and cell-sensitive degradation. Our long-term goal is to engineer clinically relevant, i.e., networked, stable, and patent, microvasculature within implantable scaffolds for regenerative medicine.

Materials Science & Engineering DepartmentStanford University

Updated 8/11