Research

Research Summary:
Professor Becker’s Laboratory for Functional Biomaterials seeks to develop new materials and methods which stimulate and direct specific cellular functions.  The multidisciplinary group works at the interface of chemistry, organic materials and medicine and focuses on developing chemical methods to tether peptides, proteins and growth factors to translationally-relevant materials. These materials include peptide and carbohydrate derivatized materials, which incorporate bio-functional species in a controlled manner, with the goal of influencing cell response.

We are focused in these key areas which motivate our work:

1) DEVELOPING CHEMICAL METHODS TO CONTROL THE PLACEMENT OF FUNCTIONAL GROUPS

Recent Publications:

C Bell, J Yu, IA Barker, V Truong, Z Cao, AV Dobrynin, ML Becker*, AP Dove* “Independent Control of Elastomer Properties through Stereocontrolled Synthesis” Angew Chemie, 2016, 55(42), 13076-13080.

– Nanofibers

Recent Publications:

Y Gao, A Land, Y Xu, GM Policastro, J Harris†, T Ritzman*, ML Becker*, “Extended delivery of hGH from polymeric nanofibers” ACS MacroLetters, 2017, submitted.

Y Gao, T Yi, T Shinoka, YU Lee, DH Reneker, CK Breuer* ML Becker*, “Pilot Mouse Study of 1 mm Inner Diameter (ID) Vascular Graft Using Electrospun Poly(ester urea) Nanofibers” Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2016, 5(18), 2427-2436

J Zheng, G Hua, F Lin, J Yu, MB Wade, DH Reneker, ML Becker* “Post-electrospinning “Tri-Click” Functionalization of Degradable Polymer Nanofibers” ACS Macro Letters, 2015, 4, 207-213

– Hydrogels

Recent Publications:

X. Li, S Murthy, ML Becker, RA Latour, “Multiscale Modeling of A Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)-Based Hydrogel” Biointerphases, 2016, 11, 021002.

Z Zander, G Hua, C Weiner, BD Vogt, ML Becker* “Control of Mesh Size and Modulus by Kinetically Dependent Cross-Linking in Hydrogels” Advanced Materials, 2015, 27(40), 6283-6288.

– Surfaces

Recent Publications:

C Motta, Q Li, D Orsini, EP Childers, MF Delisio, SD Weiner, ML Becker* “Optimizing Chondrocyte expansion on surface energy gradients” ACS Combinatorial Science, 2017, submitted.

Z Qiang, C Ye, K Lin, ML Becker, KA Cavicchi, BD Vogt* “Evolution in surface morphology during rapid microwave annealing of PS-b-PMMA thin films” J Polym Sci B: Polym Phys, 2016, 54, 1499-1506.

W Tang, GM Policastro, G Hua, F Lin, G Hua, C Wesdemiotis, GL Doll, ML Becker* “Bioactive Surface Modification of Metal Oxides via Catechol-bearing Modular Peptides: Multivalent Binding, Surface Retention and Peptide Bioactivity” J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136 , 16357-16367.

– Nanoparticles

Recent Publications:

JJ Kim, NK Bennett, MS Devita, S Chahar, S Viswananth, EA Lee, G Jung, PP Shao, EP Childers, S Liu, A Kulesa, BA Garcia, ML Becker, NS Hwang, A Madabhushi, MP Verzi, PV Moghe* “Epi-Mark Descriptor Imaging of Cell Transitional States (EDICTS): Optical High Content Nanoscopy to Forecast Functional Divergence in Stem Cells” Scientific Reports, 2017, in press.

EP Childers, GI Peterson, AB Ellenberger†, K Domino†, GV Seifert, ML Becker* “Adhesion of Blood Plasma Proteins and Platelet-rich Plasma on L-Valine Based Poly(ester urea)” Biomacromolecules, 2016, 17(10), 3396-3403.

2) EXPLORING THE SYNERGY OF BIOACTIVE SPECIES & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES ON CELL FUNCTION

Recent Publications:

H Li, J Zheng, H Wang, ML Becker, N Leipzig* “Neural stem cell differentiation in strain promoted crosslinked PEG-based Hydrogels” 2017, submitted.

EP Childers, MB Wade, A Ellenberger†, D Orsini, RA Bell, SD Fening, ML Becker* “PEU sponge for bone tendon interface repair materials – suture retention strength” Biomaterials, 2017, submitted.

Y Xu, GM Policastro, JM Walker, Y Luo, A Kleinfehn, D Dean, ML Becker, “Accelerated hMSC differentiation on OGP derivatized PPF Bioglass composite scaffolds” Biomaterials, 2017, submitted.

3) PROVIDING SOLUTIONS TO UNMET MEDICAL NEEDS

Recent Publications:

GI Peterson, AV Dobrynin, ML Becker* “α-Amino Acid-Based Poly(Ester Urea)s as Multi-Shape Memory Polymers for Biomedical Applications” ACS Macro Letters, 2016, 5(10), 1176–1179.

MB Wade, E Roderburg, U Patel, B Shah, ML Becker* “In vitro and in vivo evaluation of electrospun poly(ester urea)s as hernia repair mesh materials” Biomacromolecules, 2016, 17(10), 3363-3374.

GM Policastro, ML Becker* “Osteogenic Growth Peptide and its Use as a Bio-conjugate in Regenerative Medicine Applications” WIRE Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechology, 2016, 8(3), 449–464.