Kyle Lampe, an assistant professor of chemical engineering in the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, is growing cells in three-dimensional hydrogels, an environment closer than petri dishes to how cells grow on their own. He can control the hydrogel’s softness or stiffness, and by raising the cells in a three-dimensional solution, the cells react more closely to how they would in nature.
While many tissue engineering researchers are seeking ways to create materials to replace bone and skin and develop artificial organs such as hearts, Lampe focuses on diseases of, and injuries to, the central nervous system. To further this work, he created the Lampe Biomaterials Group to conduct research in a variety of areas, including neural-tissue engineering, drug delivery and stem-cell regulation.
Source: University of Virginia