Restoring Elastic Matrix: The Missing Link in Tissue Repair

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Modified Hart-stained histological images showing whole tissue section of aorta


Anand Ramamurthi, PhD
Peter C Rossin Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA


Restoring intact elastic fibers and their higher order structures is crucial since their absence, malfor-mation, or pathological disruption can adversely impact tissue recoil properties and cell behavior and health. Prof. Ramamurthi’s laboratory’s seeks to develop matrix-engineering technologies directed at biomimetic regeneration and repair of elastic fibers and fiber networks. His group applies these methods to growing elastic tissues in vitro and to restoring integrity of soft tissues compromised by chronic proteolytic disruption of the structural extracellular matrix (ECM). A particular focus lies on regenerating matrix architectures vital to cardiovascular homeostasis.  Here a major challenge is the lack of suitable tissue engineering tools and therapeutics to overcome very poor elastin precursor synthesis by stable adult vascular cells and their poor ability replicate the biocomplexity of developmental elastogenesis. This seminar will provide an overview of Prof. Ramamurthi’s multifaceted approach to overcoming these critical challenges with innovative tools (e.g., biomolecular agents, biomaterial scaffolds, nanothera-peutics and stem cells). Applications as a minimally-invasive, non-surgical treatment modality to treat proteolytic disorders (e.g.COPD-associated non-small cell lung cancers, aortic aneurysms) will be discussed and efforts to arrest growth of abdominal aortic aneurysms will be presented.

After earning his PhD in chemical engineering from Oklahoma State University, Prof. Ramamurthi spend 2 -years as an American Heart Association (AHA) postdoctoral at the Cleveland Clinic. He was a member of the bioengineering faculty at Clemson University from 2003 to 2010, before returning to the Cleveland Clinic, where he became a professor of biomedical engineering at the Lerner Research Institute. At the same time, he held a position as Professor of Molecular Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, and founded the Center of Excellence in Cardiovascular Translational Functional Genomics. In 2020, he accepted an invitation to become the 2nd Chair of the Dept. of Bioengineering at Lehigh University. Prof. Ramamurthi is a Fellow of the AHA, where he serves as the chair of the Cardiac Basic Sciences Innovative Research Grant Study Section. In addition, he is the executive editor of the Journal of Tissue Science and Engineering, and serves on several other review panels for the NIH, NSF.

organization of elastic fibers (2nd row)
Modified Hart-stained histological images showing whole tissue section of aorta (top row) and organization of elastic fibers (2nd row). Dark colors represent elastic fibers and lighter color represents collagen and other tissue components. (L-lumen, M-media, A-adventitia). Scale bar: 500 μm (top row) and 50 μm (bottom row).