Ongoing/past funded research projects: external link
We focus on bioprinting technologies that can 3D print artificial tissue at clinically relevant sizes. We have developed a laser-assisted drop-on-demand method to print live cells, including primary neurons. The method, named laser induced side transfer (LIST), uses low energy nanosecond laser pulses to print bioink drops in a precise manner.
Currently, we are using LIST for several tissue engineering applications, such as microvasculature and corneal bioprinting. We are also working on developing modeling frameworks to further advance the capabilities of LIST.
Fiber-based Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) probes enable endoscopic retinal imaging.
We integrate these OCT probes with minimally invasive medical devices to enable precise surgical manipulations in the eye, such as subretinal injection (SI) of drugs. Our focus is on preclinical validation using a swine model, as well as on the development of research instrumentation for controlled SI delivery of gene and cell therapies in a murine model.
Nanomaterials have the ability to convert light into heat at the nanoscale. We have leveraged this property to ‘block’ individual sensory neurons by ‘hijacking’ their heat-responsive channels. This is a disruptive method for delivering analgesic drugs to targeted neurons and controlling neuronal communication with other cell types.
Using a corneal model as a test bed, we are currently focusing on studying targeted neuronal silencing as a means of resolving corneal inflammation and pain.