We are developing new classes of modular hydrogels that exhibit time-dependent mechanics (viscoelasticity) reminiscent of natural tissues. By fabricating more realistic, tissue-like materials we can create better models of disease microenvironments in fibrosis and cancer.
While the vast majority of tissue engineering approaches focus on the healing of a single tissue, many injuries (especially in orthopedics) happen at the interface between two distinct tissues. We are combatting this problem by engineering conductive collagen composites for repair of skeletal muscle and muscle-tendon junctions (MTJs).
Fibrous biomaterials mimicking the architecture of native tissues are often limited by poor mechanics, inadequate cell infiltration, and/or are not amenable to minimally invasive in vivo delivery strategies. We are harnessing the power of supramolecular chemistry to create self-assembled injectable fibrous hydrogels for therapeutic delivery.