Co-PI William Wagner
Title Stem Cells for Corneal Engineering
Description The proposed research builds upon the pioneering work from the laboratory of Dr. Wagner in developing novel degradable biomaterials for a variety of soft tissue applications. Dr. Wagner’s group links polymer chemists, bioengineers and surgeons in this effort, and the proposed research takes advantage of this expertise. They have synthesized, characterized and processed a variety of biodegradable polymeric biomaterials and evaluated their performance for treating tissue insufficiency in vivo. The thermoplastic elastomeric materials proposed in this project have been synthesized and evaluated in the rat model in several different locations. Most of this in vivo work has involved the cardiovascular system for cardiac wall and blood vessel scaffolding. Other studies have evaluated application of the material in the abdominal wall and as subcutaneous implants for first level biocompatibility assessments. Dr. Wagner and Dr. Funderburgh have been collaborating over the past several years to begin translation of the Wagner lab’s materials expertise to the ophthalmic area.