Topics in Bioengineering

Using Microporous Annealed Particle (MAP) Scaffolds for Immunomodulation, Chemotaxis, and Tissue Generation

Donald Richieri Griffin (University of Virginia)

Thursday, Sep 21, 2023

Regenerative biomaterial scaffolds routinely fail at the preclinical stage due to an inability to integrate with surrounding tissue and avoid a foreign body response (FBR), which is characterized by fibrotic encapsulation and sustained local inflammation around the biomaterial. To create a translational biomaterial that addresses both integration and inflammation, we have focused our efforts on a bioactive derivative of the Microporous Annealed Particle (MAP) hydrogel platform. MAP hydrogels are formed from an injectable slurry of hydrogel microspheres (microgels) that, once annealed together in situ, form a highly porous structure shown to promote an anti-inflammatory immune response. MAP’s ability to avoid a discernible FBR allows it to integrate with host tissue and act as a platform for supporting immunomodulatory and chemotactic bioactivity. We have used MAP to design biomaterial therapies for multiple clinical concerns, including volumetric muscle loss, type-2 diabetes, diabetic wounds, cartilage damage, and glottic incompetence. Most recently we reported the ability to generate tissue de novo using an entirely synthetic scaffold implant. We believe our biomaterial designs have the potential to translate to the clinic.

Speaker Bio

Don Griffin is an Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Virginia. He received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 2011 from the University of California, Los Angeles. The Griffin research group focuses on the study and design of particle-based biomaterials for clinical translational, including regeneration (e.g., skin, mucosal epithelium, and skeletal muscle), reconstruction (e.g., vocal cord), and transplant support (e.g., pancreatic beta cells for type 1 diabetes treatment). Prior to starting at UVA, Prof. Griffin co-founded Tempo Therapeutics, a growing company in Southern California focused on the commercialization of biomaterials for treatment of complex wounds, in 2015.


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