Projects List

There are three main project areas in the Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Laboratory. Each is lead by our three Co-Directors: Drs. Lichun Lu, Avudaiappan Maran, and Theresa Hefferan. Below you will find our current project list and the Co-Directors that support them.

Photo of Dr. Lichun Lu

Dr. Lu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopedics. Dr. Lu received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Rice University and has been in my program for seven years. Dr. Lu has significant expertise in biomaterials, tissue engineering, and drug delivery. She has established a line of investigation in nerve and bone regeneration using synthetic biodegradable polymers. Her leadership skills and scientific talents are crucial to my laboratory’s successful accomplishments.

Bone Tissue Engineering:

  1. Synthesis and characterization of novel biocompatible, biodegradable, and self-crosslinkable polymers with modulated properties for bone regeneration
  2. Polymeric nanocomposites incorporating nano-hydroxyapatite particles to modulate cellular function iv vitro and iv vivo
  3. Controlled delivery of growth factors from polymeric microspheres and composite scaffolds for bone defect repair
  4. Scaffold design in computer aided design (CAD) and novel processing using solid freeform fabrication (SFF)
  5. Development of non-invasive tools for fracture risk analysis and treatment

Nerve Tissue Engineering:

  1. Engineering polymeric nerve tubes with controlled properties for peripheral nerve regeneration
  2. Development of multi-channeled nerve conduits from biodegradable polymers for spinal cord injury
Photo of Dr. Avudaiappan Maran

Dr. Maran is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopedics. Dr. Maran received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Madurai Kamaraj University, India, and completed his Postdoctoral fellowship at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in NY. He has been with my program for four years. Dr. Maran is an established investigator in the field on bone biology and has years of experience in molecular biology of cancer and cytokines. His studies involve in vitro and in vivo model systems and the application of genomics and proteomics tools.

Cell and Molecular Biology

  1. Estrogen Metabolites in the Control of Osteosarcoma
  2. Genomic Assessment of Clinical Variability in Osteosarcoma
  3. Stat1 in Estrogen-mediated Regulation of Osteoblasts and Chondrocytes
  4. Eukaryotic Initiation Factor 5A and Translational Control in Breast and Bone Cancer
  5. Biodegradable polymer-mediated DNA delivery in bone cells
Photo of Dr. Theresa Hefferan

Dr. Hefferan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopedics. Dr. Hefferan received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland. She has been instrumental in establishing the Biomaterials Characterization and Quantitative Histomorphometry Laboratory as a Core Facility at Mayo. Dr. Hefferan, Scientific Director of the laboratory, also coordinates several collaborative histomorphometry studies with principal investigators from our department, other departments at Mayo, and institutions around the world.

Biomaterials Characterization and Quantitative Histomorphometry

  1. Osteointegration into Porous Metal
  2. Bone Formation in Scaffolds
  3. Recruitment of Osteoblastic Precursor Cells
  4. Osteogenic compounds (Parathyriod Hormone and Bone Morphogenetic Protein)