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Research Projects

  • Over the past two decades, we have pioneered techniques to engineer small-diameter blood vessels that are strong enough to withstand arterial blood flow.

  • Demand for non-thrombogenic arterial conduits persists due to the poor clinical performance of existing synthetic grafts for small-diameter artery applications. Decellularized native and tissue-engineered vascular grafts have shown success in large-diameter vascular applications.

  • The wound healing process is a complex series of events and its impairment, as in the case of non-healing, chronic wounds which are a common occurrence associated with vascular disease, may stem from insufficient angiogenesis in affected sites. We have developed a stiff, high-concentration fibrin formulation that allows adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ADSCs) to form tubular structures in vitro.

  • Stem cells are a valuable cell source for tissue engineering due to their high proliferative and differentiation capabilities. We have developed techniques for the differentiation of adult stem cells (mesenchymal cells) as well as hES and hiPS cells into SMCs.

  • We are mostly interested in developing a stem cell-based therapy for treating cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. Rodent models including mice and rats were used to develop and evaluate the efficiency of a novel intratracheal method for instillation of lung epithelial cells in vivo.

  • The Niklason lab has developed an initial method to decellularize tissue while leaving a decellularized “scaffold” intact.

  • Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells may be the most effective strategy to develop respiratory epithelial cells that may be valuable in lung-related cell therapies.