Our lab's research focuses on the design of polymeric biomaterials for soft tissue repair and drug delivery with focused applications in ophthalmology and wound healing. Studies in the lab focus on polymer synthesis, mechanical characterization, cell-material interactions, and controlled release. A major focus of our work is engineering biomimetic polymers that have properties similar to the native tissue to improve wound healing and outcomes after ophthalmic surgery. Our laboratory is currently investigating materials-based solutions for corneal wound healing, cataract surgery, vitreoretinal surgery, macular degeneration, and optic neuropathy.
Biomimetic Injectable Hydrogel Vitreous Substitute
The vitreous humor comprises the majority of the volume of the eye between the lens and the retina. The vitreous liquefies with age, resulting in a number of complications. Many experience floaters in vision, and over 500,000 vitrectomies are performed annually. We are interested in the development of injectable hydrogels for vitreous substitution that match the optical and mechanical properties of the natural vitreous humor.
Posterior Capsule Opacification Prevention
Cataract is the opacification of the lens which is treated by surgical removal of the lens and implantation of a polymeric intraocular lens (IOL). Posterior capsular opacification is a common complication of cataract surgery, resulting in lens epithelial cells responding to the implant. We are interested modifying intraocular lens materials to prevent lens epithelial cell attachment after cataract surgery.
Corneal Wound Healing
The cornea is susceptible to injury due to trauma, surgical wounds, and chronic conditions such as blepharitis or dry eye disease. We are developing polymeric materials to promote corneal wound healing with minimal scarring as well as topical drug delivery devices to locally deliver therapeutics to promote healing and mitigate infection.
Traumatic Optic Neuropathy
We are developing injectable hydrogel scaffolds with controlled release of neuroprotective agents to mitigate injury after trauma to the optic nerve. This project is funded by Department of Defense.
Ocular Drug Delivery
We are developing systems for controlled release of therapeutics through topical application or intravitreal implants to prevent and manage ophthalmic conditions (e.g. age related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, fibrosis). This project is funded by the Ohio Lions Eye Research Foundation.
We have experience developing products for use in wound care and soft tissue repair. We are interested in collaborating to optimize polymeric materials to promote wound healing with minimal scarring while mitigating infection.