Harley lab receives new NIH funding!!

Dr. Harley is the PI of a new R21 research award from the National Institutes of Health entitled, ‘Amniotic membrane derived matrix for large bone defect repair.’ Working with Co-PI Matt Wheeler (Illinois) and Collaborator Kara Spiller (Drexel) we will explore new biomaterial designs to modulate the immune response immediately after injury as a means to accelerate craniofacial bone regeneration!

Emily’s paper on the convergence of matrix and metabolic cue to influence glioblastoma invasion accepted in Biomaterials Science

As part of a longstanding collaboration with Rex Gaskins (Illinois Animal Science), #harleylab’s Emily Chen describes the use of a three-dimensional hydrogel  to study the impact of matrix composition and metabolic challenges on GBM cell invasion. The margins of glioblastoma tumors in the brain containing striking gradient in matrix stiffness and hypoxia, and in this paper just accepted in the journal Biomaterials Science we show combinations of these signals  enhance GBM cell invasion and alter processes associated with matrix remodeling.

Brendan receives College and Campus Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Congrats to Brendan for receiving the 2017-2018 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the 2018-2018 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Illinois. These awards (College and Campus!) recognize his effort in the classroom teaching a core chemical engineering course (Moment and Heat Transfer) and for developing a senior elective class on tissue engineering.


Dan’s paper on craniofacial bone regeneration accepted in Tissue Engineering!

We’ve taken a *big* step with our next paper on collagen biomaterials for craniofacial bone regeneration. In a paper just accepted in the journal Tissue Engineering Part A, post-doc Dan Weisgerber describes application of our reinforced collagen composite biomaterial for regeneration of defects in porcine mandibles! ‘A mineralized collagen-polycaprolactone composite promotes healing of a porcine mandibular ramus defect’ is a project completed jointly by our lab along with Prof. Matthew Wheeler (Illinois) and Prof. Scott Hollister (Ga Tech). Congrats to all!

Sara’s new papers on the drug response and the GBM microenvironment

Congrats to Sara for the acceptance of two papers, both using biomaterial models to examine how the glioblastoma tumor microenvironment may alter how GBM cells respond to tyrosine kinase inhibitors. ‘Extracellular hyaluronic acid influences the efficacy of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors in a biomaterial model of glioblastoma’ is out in Advanced Healthcare Materials, while ‘Spatially-graded hydrogels for preclinical testing of glioblastoma anticancer therapeutics’ has been accepted in MRS Communications. Both involve an exciting collaboration with Mayo Clinic and our use of patient-derived biospecimens (not cell lines)!

Welcome new grad students Tori and Samantha!

Tori Barnhouse graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 2017 where she worked as a research assistant under Dr. Jennifer Leight. She will be working on a project tracing the behavior of hematopoietic stem cells encapsulated within 3D hydrogels.

Samantha Zambuto received a B.S. in Biological Engineering from Cornell University in 2015 and a Sc.M. in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University in 2017. At Brown, she worked in Dr. Diane Hoffman-Kim’s lab and wrote a thesis titled “Advancing Tissue Engineered Neural Platforms to Explore Sex Differences in Ischemic Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury.” Samantha will be expanding our efforts to generate models of the endometrium.