Research


The Christman Lab focuses on developing novel biomaterials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. The lab has a strong translational focus with the main goal of developing minimally invasive therapies for cardiovascular disease.  Projects are highly interdisciplinary and involve collaborations with basic scientists, engineers, and physicians.



Injectable Biomaterials for Tissue Repair and Regeneration

We are interested in developing and understanding injectable materials for a variety of tissue engineering applications. Injectable scaffolds allow for the potential for minimally invasive delivery, thereby reducing recovery time and chance of infection compared to surgical approaches. The lab's main focus is on the development of these injectable biomaterials as new therapies for cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction and peripheral artery disease. We are also interested in the potential of injectable biomaterials for soft tissue repair.  We use a variety of materials ranging from naturally derived to synthetic in both hydrogel and nano/microparticle forms.  We are particularly interested in acellular biomaterial only based approaches that may research the clinic faster, although we also explore the use of injectable biomaterial scaffolds for improving minimally invasive cell therapies and other therapeutics.




Biomaterials for Directing Stem Cell Differentiation

Stem cells ranging from adult to pluripotent have great potential for their use in in vitro models of human disease as well as regenerative medicine therapies. Widespread application has however been limited by our inability to direct these cells into a mature adult phenotype. We are examining both biomaterial and co-culture technologies to better control stem cell fate, including cardiac and pancreatic progenitors.





Funding

Our research would not be possible without funding from the following sources: