Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
While there have been tremendous advances in the development of procedures
to remove blockages in blood vessels (e.g. angioplasty, bypass surgery,
and stent implantation), unfortunately a large number of these cases
result in reformation of the blockage - a process known as restenosis. A
major cause of restenosis is migration and growth of vascular smooth
muscle cells (VSMCs). A major effort in the laboratory aims to
understand how bioscaffold
properties (e.g. structural, mechanical, and chemical) affect VSMC
migration and growth. By systematically varying these bioscaffold
properties, we hope to gain engineering design principles for the
fabrication of not only devices to treat restenosis but also
tissue-engineered blood vessels. Our laboratory fosters an
interdisciplinary environment that
integrates materials science and engineering, cell biology, biophysics,
colloid and interface science, and micro- and nano-technologies.