Department of Biomedical Engineering Duke University
This talk will highlight recent work from my laboratory that illustrates the clinical translation of molecular bio- engineering technologies for point-of-care clinical diagnostics, drug delivery, and regenerative medicine. In the first example, I will describe a point-of-care diagnostic —the D4 assay — that we have developed, in which all reagents are printed and stored on a “non-fouling”—protein and cell resistant—polymer brush. The D4 assay
has a speed and sensitivity that is as good or better than commercially available point-of-care tests and is far sim- pler, cheaper more rugged, and does not require a cold-chain. In a second example in the area of tissue engineer- ing/regenerative medicine, I will discuss how we have used ELPs as a template to encode higher order, hierarchi- cal self-assembly into macroscopic biomaterials by modulating the degree of order in these intrinsically disor- dered polymers, leading to materials that are soluble at room temperature but upon injection subcutaneously —or elsewhere in the body— self-assemble into a physically crosslinked material with interconnected pores. These ma- terials spontaneously vascularize, exhibit minimal inflammation, and show excellent tissue integration, and these properties suggest that they may be useful for regenerative medicine.