Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, UConn, Storrs
Bioengineered three-dimensional tissue models are becoming valuable tools for medical research and clinical applications. These models, by generating in vivo-like microenvironments, can promote tissue regenerative growth in a dish, and allow for a more realistic approximation of the native tissue. Combined with patient-derived cells and stem cell technologies, these in vitro models can be applied to personalized medicine approaches.
Our research centers on the development of personalized human brain tissue models towards the understanding of the nervous system in development and diseases.
Micro-lithography and microfluidics technologies were adapted for patterning extracellular matrix-based hydrogels to generate a computer-designed, biomimetic, perfuse-able, living microvascular network in vitro. These techniques were expanded to the nervous system. Primary cytoskeletal deregulation events (i.e., microtubule breaking) underlying traumatic brain injury and potential drug candidates (i.e., microtubule stabilizing agent such as taxol) were identified using an in vitro neuronal culture model. By integrating with an electrode interface, a living and responsive neural circuit was generated in a dish. As part of a research team in David Kaplan’s laboratory at Tufts University, we combined these technologies with silk material engineering, and developed the first bioengineered functional brain-like tissue model.
- Develop patient-derived 3D brain tumor models for pediatric neuro-oncology studies.
- Mechanistic drug studies with brain tumor cell-lines and patient tumor cells (in collaboration with Dr. Markus Bookland, neurosurgery).
Opportunities for Students
In the past, undergraduate students, and summer fellows have worked in our lab. Please email Min Tang-Schomer at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.