Efforts in our laboratory include understanding and employing the structure-property-function relationship of musculoskeletal tissues to develop efficient cell-based and material-based therapies for various musculoskeletal diseases. Our strategies include integrating multiple interactions (namely cell-matrix, cell-cell, and matrix-cell-aqueous milieu), found in tissues to provide the desired physicochemical cues to condition cellular commitment and their hierarchical structural organization. We are interested in cartilage, bone, and skeletal muscle. Here we use a combination of scaffold and cells to engineer the tissue prior to implantation. We are also investigating the potential of using scaffolds mimicking various attributes of native ECM to activate endogenous cells to promote healing and tissue regeneration.

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hMSCs cultured on biomineralized matrices underwent spontaneous osteogenic differentiation (Left). When implanted these materials recruited endogenous cells to create vascularized bone tissue.