Systems and strategies for promoting tissue growth provide enabling technologies for either enhancing regeneration for diseased or injured tissues, or to investigate abnormal tissue formation such as cancer. Given the complexity inherent in tissues, my laboratory is working towards the concept of "Systems Tissue Engineering", which indicates, in part, the need to develop systems capable of presenting combinations of factors that drive tissue growth. Biomaterial scaffolds represent a central component of many approaches and provide the enabling tools for creating an environment and/or deliver factors that can direct cellular processes toward tissue formation. The presentation will discuss our strategies for delivering gene therapy vectors or proteins, and will illustrate the potential through our work with islet transplantation in Type 1 Diabetes therapy. The scaffolds aim to create an environment that supports robust engraftment of transplanted islets through integration with the host tissue. Due to integration with the host tissue, we have also developed strategies for local immunomodulation, as well as the development of nanoparticles for antigen-specific tolerance. Our work with islet transplantation and bone marrow transplantation will be presented to highlight the design principles for these nanoparticles.
Lonnie D. Shea is a professor and chair in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, with a joint appointment in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He received his BS and MS degrees at Case Western Reserve University in Chemical Engineering. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering and Scientific Computing while working with Jennifer Linderman at the University of Michigan and was a postdoctoral fellow with David Mooney in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science in the Dental School at the University of Michigan. He joined the faculty of Northwestern University in 1999 within the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and retains an appointment in that department as well as in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Feinberg School of Medicine.
He joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2014 bringing his active research group working at the interface of tissue engineering, gene therapy, and drug delivery. He received an NSF CAREER Award in 2000, which helped start the work on developing new technologies based on combining biomaterials and gene/drug delivery. The overall objective is to create controllable microenvironments for directing or molecularly dissecting tissue growth. These systems are being applied to clinical problems such as ovarian follicle maturation for treating infertility, islet transplantation for diabetes therapies, nerve regeneration for treating paralysis. More recently, he research has moved into cancer diagnostics, autoimmune disease, and systems biology applied to regenerative medicine. His lab consists of approximately 20 graduate students/postdoctoral fellows who work closely with basic science and clinical collaborators throughout the medical school. Dr. Shea has received funding from NIH, NSF, and multiple foundations, received the Clemson Award for Contributions to the Literature in 2015, and published in excess of 170 manuscripts on his research. In addition to his teaching and research commitments, he was director of the NIH Biotechnology Training Grant at Northwestern University. Dr. Shea is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and is a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Therapy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Drug Delivery and Translational Research.