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Engineering | School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering

Molecular, cellular and tissue engineering

Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Engineering

Our molecular, cellular and tissue engineering faculty focus on novel biomaterials for rebuilding damaged tissue, molecular and cellular therapies, and localized drug delivery systems for hard-to-treat cancers.

Explore the list of our faculty who work in this research area below.

David Brafman David Brafman, Assistant Professor

david.brafman@asu.edu

(480) 727-2859

Expertise: Pluripotent stem cells, neurodegenerative disease, developmental biology, regenerative medicine biomanufacturing, gene editing

Laboratory: The Stem Cell Bioengineering Lab utilizes human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) to address fundamental questions about human development, model and study disease, and develop methods for cell-based therapies. To that end, they have developed an interdisciplinary approach that combines various aspects of developmental biology, genetic engineering, biomaterials science, and bioinformatics to investigate the chemical, biological, and physical stimuli that govern stem cell fate.

 

Stephen MassiaStephen Massia, Associate Professor

smassia@asu.edu

(480) 965-2448

 

Expertise:  Cell-material interactions

Laboratory:The Massia Laboratory focuses primarily on cell material interactions. The principles of cell biology, biochemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry are utilized to better understand the interaction of cells with synthetic materials, and to exploit this knowledge to enhance the compatibility of these materials with tissues that contact them. Current projects include developing nanofabrication methods to construct biomimetic scaffolds for tissue regeneration and replacement.

 

 

Mehdi NikkhahMehdi Nikkhah, Assistant Professor

mehdi.nikkhah@asu.edu

(480) 965-0339

Expertise:  Micro and nanoscale technologies, disease modeling, tissue engineering, cancer, tumor microenvironment models

Laboratory: Nikkhah Laboratory  current research interests lie at the interface of micro/nanotechnology, advanced biomaterials and biology. Specifically our research is centered on integration of advanced biomaterials, stem cells and micro- and nanoscale technologies to develop functional vascularized tissue substitutes. In addition, our lab is actively involved in the development of highly innovative microscale platform for cell-biomaterial interactions and cancer metastasis studies.

 

 

Vincent PizziconiVincent Pizziconi, Associate Professor

vincent.pizziconi@asu.edu

(480) 965-1071

Expertise: Medical device design innovation & regulation, cell & tissue regenerative medicine products, biomanufacturing, bioinspired & biomimetic complex adaptive biosystems, space bioengineering

Laboratory: Laboratory of BioInspired Complex Adaptive Systems seeks to understand the biodesign heuristics of integrative bionanosystems that can lead to the design and development of bioinspired advanced diagnostic and therapeutic components, devices and systems.

 

 

Barbara SmithBarbara Smith, Assistant Professor

BarbaraSmith@asu.edu

(480) 727-8988

Expertise:  Imaging and biomarker discovery, innovating point-of-care diagnostics

Laboratory: The Smith Laboratory  focuses on engineering solutions to better diagnose problems associated with women’s health and mental illness. Ongoing research in the lab utilizes imaging technologies and olfactory sensing to forge an entirely new path towards early stage detection and diagnostic monitoring. The overarching goal is to translate technologies developed in the lab for improved patient outcomes.

 

 

Sarah StabenfeldtSarah Stabenfeldt, Associate Professor

Sarah.Stabenfeldt@asu.edu

(480) 965-8336

Expertise:  Regenerative medicine, targeted theranostics, neurotrauma

Laboratory: The Stabenfeldt Laboratory specifically focuses  on engineering novel targeted diagnostic and therapeutic (‘theranostic’) biomaterials for neural injury/disease  and identifying endogenous neural stem cell homing mechanisms after injury, and incorporating such biosignals into tissue-engineered matrices.

 

 

Brent VernonBrent Vernon, Associate Professor

brent.vernon@asu.edu

(480) 965-0929

Expertise:  Biomaterials, drug delivery, tissue engineering

Laboratory: The Biomaterials Laboratory uses principles of polymer science and chemistry to design and develop in situ gelling materials for drug delivery, tissue engineering, and tissue reconstruction.

 

 

Jessica WeaverJessica Weaver, Assistant Professor

jdweave5@asu.edu

(480) 965-8200

Expertise:  Immunoengineering, biomaterials diabetes

Laboratory: The Weaver laboratory focuses on developing biomaterials-based strategies for immunoengineering and translatable cell-based therapies. The main thrusts of the lab’s work include engineering transplant sites for cell-based therapies, device design for translatable and immunoisolated cell transplantation, and developing strategies to induce tolerance toward transplanted tissue.

 

David Brafman

 

 

 

David Brafman, Assistant Professor

david.brafman@asu.edu
(480) 727-2859

Expertise:Embryonic stem cells, neurodegenerative disease, developmental biology, regenerative medicine biomanufacturing, gene editing

Laboratory: The Stem Cell Bioengineering Lab utilizes human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) to address fundamental questions about human development, model and study disease, and develop methods for cell-based therapies. To that end, they have developed an interdisciplinary approach that combines various aspects of developmental biology, genetic engineering, biomaterials science, and bioinformatics to investigate the chemical, biological, and physical stimuli that govern stem cell fate.

 

Stephen Massia

 

 

 

 

Stephen Massia, Associate Professor

smassia@asu.edu
(480) 965-2448

Expertise:  Cell-material interactions

Laboratory:The Massia Laboratory focuses primarily on cell material interactions. The principles of cell biology, biochemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry are utilized to better understand the interaction of cells with synthetic materials, and to exploit this knowledge to enhance the compatibility of these materials with tissues that contact them. Current projects include developing nanofabrication methods to construct biomimetic scaffolds for tissue regeneration and replacement.

 

 

Mehdi Nikkhah

 

 

 

Mehdi Nikkhah, Assistant Professor

mehdi.nikkhah@asu.edu
(480) 965-0339

Expertise:  Micro and nanoscale technologies, disease modeling, tissue engineering, cancer, tumor microenvironment models

Laboratory: Nikkhah Laboratory  current research interests lie at the interface of micro/nanotechnology, advanced biomaterials and biology. Specifically our research is centered on integration of advanced biomaterials, stem cells and micro- and nanoscale technologies to develop functional vascularized tissue substitutes. In addition, our lab is actively involved in the development of highly innovative microscale platform for cell-biomaterial interactions and cancer metastasis studies.

 

 

Vincent Pizziconi

 

 

 

Vincent Pizziconi, Associate Professor

vincent.pizziconi@asu.edu
(480) 965-1071

Expertise: Cell/tissue based regenerative medicine combination products, space bioinspired complex adaptive biosystems, BME design innovation/regulation

Laboratory: Laboratory of BioInspired Complex Adaptive Systems seeks to understand the biodesign heuristics of integrative bionanosystems that can lead to the design and development of bioinspired advanced diagnostic and therapeutic components, devices and systems.

 

 

Barbara Smith

 

 

 

Barbara Smith, Assistant Professor

BarbaraSmith@asu.edu
(480) 727-8988

Expertise:  Imaging and biomarker discovery, innovating point-of-care diagnostics

Laboratory: The Smith Laboratory  focuses on engineering solutions to better diagnose problems associated with women’s health and mental illness. Ongoing research in the lab utilizes imaging technologies and olfactory sensing to forge an entirely new path towards early stage detection and diagnostic monitoring. The overarching goal is to translate technologies developed in the lab for improved patient outcomes.

 

 

Sarah Stabenfeldt

 

 

 

Sarah Stabenfeldt, Associate Professor

Sarah.Stabenfeldt@asu.edu
(480) 965-8336

Expertise:  Regenerative medicine, targeted theranostics, neurotrauma

Laboratory: The Stabenfeldt Laboratory specifically focuses  on engineering novel targeted diagnostic and therapeutic (‘theranostic’) biomaterials for neural injury/disease  and identifying endogenous neural stem cell homing mechanisms after injury, and incorporating such biosignals into tissue-engineered matrices.

 

 

Brent Vernon

 

 

 

Brent Vernon, Associate Professor

brent.vernon@asu.edu
(480) 965-0929

Expertise:  Biomaterials, drug delivery, tissue engineering

Laboratory: The Biomaterials Laboratory uses principles of polymer science and chemistry to design and develop in situ gelling materials for drug delivery, tissue engineering, and tissue reconstruction.

 

 

Jessica Weaver

 

 

 

Jessica Weaver, Assistant Professor

jdweave5@asu.edu
(480) 965-8200

Expertise:  Biomaterials, drug delivery, tissue engineering

Laboratory: The Weaver laboratory focuses on developing biomaterials-based strategies for immunoengineering and translatable cell-based therapies. The main thrusts of the lab’s work include engineering transplant sites for cell-based therapies, device design for translatable and immunoisolated cell transplantation, and developing strategies to induce tolerance toward transplanted tissue.