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Tissue Engineering & Biomaterials

Cornell biomedical engineers design biomaterial platforms to recreate tissues for functional replacement therapies, as models of normal and diseased states for basic research, and for use in drug testing. Well-controlled and biocompatible biomaterials are also needed for selective delivery of therapeutic and imaging contrast agents as well as for gene therapy approaches. Critical to the success of Cornell’s tissue engineering and biomaterials efforts is the integration of multidisciplinary expertise in materials science, cell biology, biochemistry, and biomechanics. Center facilities supporting this research include the Cornell Center for Materials Research, Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility, the Nanobiotechnology Center, and the NIH-funded Physical Sciences Oncology Center (Center on the Physics of Cancer Metabolism). Many projects are joint with faculty at Weill Cornell Medicine. 

Some specific faculty projects:

Prof. Lawrence Bonassar’s lab focuses on the development of anatomically shaped cartilage for applications in musculoskeletal repair. Researchers in the lab use
medical imaging data combined with 3D tissue printing and molding technology
to generate engineered tissues for replacement of articular and auricular cartilage,
meniscus, and intervertebral disc as well as use mechanical conditioning in
bioreactors to guide the development of desired microstructure in engineered

Prof. Jonathan Butcher’s lab creates and uses living 3D culture models of heart valve physiology and disease. He employs engineering principles from developmental biology to drive the differentiation of stem/progenitor cells towards mature cardiac and valvular phenotypes. Dr. Butcher has also pioneered the use of 3D tissue printing to fabricate living heterogeneous soft tissues. He combines tunable, 3D printable hydrogel inks and novel deposition algorithms for precision design and fabrication of patient-specific heterogeneous clinically sized grafts.

Prof. Ben Cosgrove’s lab studies how muscle stem cells interpret and process microenvironmental information through signaling networks that govern their cell fate during tissue maintenance and repair. Inspired by these regulatory insights, his lab develops self-assembled and microfabricated biomaterials to engineered muscle-mimetic tissues and enhance muscle stem cell transplantation therapies.

Prof. Claudia Fischbach-Teschl’s lab studies the effect of microenvironmental conditions on the prognosis and treatment of cancer patients. Her lab combines biomaterials, tissue engineering, and microfabrication strategies to develop pathologically relevant culture models for analysis of tumor-mediated angiogenesis, stroma remodeling, and bone metastasis.

Prof. Jan Lammerding’s lab is using a combination of microfabrication, tissue-engineering, decellularization, and stem cell biology to create in vitro models of skeletal and cardiac muscle, with the goal to elucidate how mutations in nuclear envelope proteins such as lamin A/C and emerin cause muscular dystrophies and heart disease.

The group of Prof. David Putnam aims to synthesize functional biomaterials derived from structure represented in the human metabolome. These new biomaterials are designed to either mimic or replace natural tissues or tissue function. Recent work focuses on new lubricants to prevent progression of osteoarthritis and new surgical materials to facilitate fascial closure following abdominal surgery.

Research Area Faculty

  Name Department Contact
lb244.jpg Bonassar, Lawrence
Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering 149 Weill Hall
607 255-9381
jtb47.jpg Butcher, Jonathan T.
Associate Professor, Associate Director of BME, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Biomedical Engineering 304 Weill Hall
607 255-3575
cc62_eng.jpg Chu, C. C.
Rebecca Q. Morgan '60 Professor
Fiber Science & Apparel Design 231 Human Ecology Building
607 255-1938
bdc68.jpg Cosgrove, Benjamin David
Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering 159 Weill Hall
607 255-7271
sd386.jpg Daniel, Susan
Associate Professor
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 256 Olin Hall
607 255-4675
lae37.jpg Estroff, Lara A.
Associate Professor
Materials Science and Engineering 329 Bard Hall
607 254-5256
cf99.jpg Fischbach-Teschl, Claudia
Associate Professor
Biomedical Engineering 157 Weill Hall
607 255-4547
bk88.jpg Kirby, Brian J.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 377 Kimball Hall
jl2792.jpg Lammerding, Jan
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Biomedical Engineering 235 Weill Hall
607 255-1700
dl79_eng.jpg Luo, Dan
Biological and Environmental Engineering
cko3.jpg Ober, Christopher Kemper
Francis Norwood Bard Professor of Materials Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering Room 310 Bard Hall
607 255-8417
mjp31.jpg Paszek, Matthew J.
Assistant Professor
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 360 Olin Hall
607 255-6277
mls50.jpg Shuler, Michael Louis
Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering
Biomedical Engineering 350 Duffield Hall (secondarily 381 Kimball)
607 255-7577
as2833.jpg Singh, Ankur
Assistant Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 389 Kimball Hall
607 255-2194
ads10.jpg Stroock, Abraham Duncan
William C. Hooey Director and Gordon L. Dibble ’50 Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 124 Olin Hall
607 255-4276
mcv3.jpg van der Meulen, Marjolein C.H.
James M. and Marsha McCormick Director of Biomedical Engineering; Swanson Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering 113 Weill Hall
607 255-1445
yw839.jpg Wang, Yadong
McAdam Family Foundation Professor of Heart Assist Technology
Biomedical Engineering 277 Kimball Hall
ubw1.jpg Wiesner, Ulrich B.
Spencer T. Olin Professor of Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering Room 330 Bard Hall
607 255-3487
tmw65.jpg Wright, Timothy
Hospital for Special Surgery, Weill Cornell