Since elasticity is one of the major mechanical characteristics of soft tissues, significant efforts have been made to engineer elastomeric biomaterials, which mimic the ability of native tissues to extend under stress. Mimicking the elasticity of innate tissues including skin, blood vessel, lung, and cardiac is one of the major challenges in tissue engineering. Due to the high stretchability of native tissues, thermoplastic polymers with an elongation break of less than 3% fail to replicate the innate tissue elasticity, as they undergo plastic deformation under variable loading. Thus, we attempt to address these challenges by engineering several types of protein-based elastic biomaterials in various forms and shapes such porous 3D hydrogels, elastic films, highly elastic fibrous sheets, and elastic conduits. We aim to develop elastin-based proteins based on chemically substituted tropoelastin, as well as newly customized elastin-like polypeptides, which can be tailored to be used for a wide range of tissue engineering applications (e.g. skin, cartilage, blood vessel, and cardiac tissue regeneration), and as elastic substrate for engineering flexible electronics.
Lab members working in this area: Sohyung Lee, Brian Walker, Gokberk Unal
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- J. R. Soucy, E. Shirzaei Sani, R. Portillo Lara, D. Diaz Vera, F. Dias, A. S. Weiss, A. N. Koppes, R. A. Koppes, N. Annabi, “Photocrosslinkable Gelatin/Tropoelastin Adhesives for Peripheral Nerve Repair”, Tissue Engineering, Part A, 2018.
- N. Annabi, Y. Zhang, A. Assmann, E. Shirzaei, G. Cheng, A.D. Lassaletta, A. Vegh, B. Dehghani, G. U. Ruiz-Esparza, X. Wang, S. Gangadharan, A.S. Weiss, A. Khademhosseini*, “Engineering a highly elastic human protein-based sealant for surgical applications”, Science Translational Medicine, 2017.
- N. Annabi, D. Rana, E. Shirzaei Sani, R. Portillo-Lara, J. L. Gifford, M. M. Fares, S.M. Mithieux, A.S. Weiss, “Engineering a sprayable and elastic hydrogel adhesive with antimicrobial properties for wound healing”, Biomaterials, 2017.
- A. Assmann, A. Vegh, M. Ghasemi-Rad, S. Bagherifard, G. Cheng, E. Shirzaei Sani, G.U. RuizEsparza, I. Noshadi, A. Lassaletta, S. Gangadharan, A. Tamayol, A. Khademhosseini, N. Annabi, “A highly adhesive and