By Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Yusuf Khan, a faculty member of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering, has received new funding from the NSF. The research will evaluate the impact in vitro of RGD-modified alginate hydrogel stiffness and low-intensity pulsed ultrasound derived acoustic radiation force on encapsulated osteoblast behavior. It will also assess the efficacy, in vivo, of transdermally applied acoustic radiation force on osteoblasts encapsulated in an RGD-modified alginate hydrogel and implanted into a mouse cranial defect. Combinations of hydrogel stiffness and acoustic radiation force levels will be investigated to determine the optimum levels for upregulating phenotypic markers and mineralization of the encapsulated osteoblasts. The optimum system is then being utilized in a mouse cranial defect model, with ultrasound force applied daily for 20 minutes a four-week period. The healing of the construct is being evaluated through histology and histomorphometry.
A tenured Associate Professor, Dr. Khan received his Masters and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University. He has appointments in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the UConn Health, as well as in the Department of Chemical, Materials, and Biomolecular Engineering and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UConn.
Congratulations to Dr. Khan on funding for this exciting project.