Models to predict protein biomaterial performance
Introduction to the project
There is a critical need to understand how tissue culture stimulation affects tissue construct development and function, with the ultimate goal of eliminating resource-intensive trial-and-error screening. Our goal is to develop predictive assessments of the in vivo performance of biomaterials so that a more rational approach based on a bottom-up modeling toolkit is used to guide the preparation of the required biomaterials. This new predictive approach would save time, animals, costs and accelerate the translation of such repair and regenerative systems. An important feature of our proposed approach is the direct integration of modeling and experimentation at multiple length scales, and the use of hierarchical material architectures across length scales, to reach enhanced material function. Our hypothesis is that predictions of biomaterials performance can be attained by the combined use of suitable experimental models to cover polymer features (chemistry, molecular weight), processing (fiber mechanical properties, hierarchical structure, degradation rate) and modeling at different length scales of materials structural hierarchy (from chemical to macroscopic).
Public Health Relevance
The ability to predict biomaterial performance by the combined use of suitable experimental models to cover polymer features (chemistry, molecular weight), processing (e.g., fibers, films, sponges, hierarchical structure) and modeling at different length scales of materials structural hierarchy (from nano- to macroscopic) has broad implications for many types of biomaterials. For example, the plans to focus on protein-based materials has broad impact for synthetic and hybrid polymer systems, as well as inorganic/composite biomaterial needs, such as for bone repair, blood vessel designs and many related medical needs.
The P41 Tissue Engineering Resource Center
at Tufts Unviersity focus on functional tissue engineering achieved through the integration of the key elements in the field, via a systems approach; cells, scaffolds and bioreactors to control the environment. The Center is directed by Professor David Kaplan
The Laboratory of Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics
at MIT focuses on developing a new paradigm that designs materials from the molecular scale. This requires the combinantion of multi-scale modeling, additive manufacturing, 3and experimental synthesis, which is applied to bio-inspired materials, biological materials, nanomaterials, and biomass materials. The Lab is directed by Professor Markus J. Buehler