Current Research Areas
Preservation and storage of biological materials, especially mammalian cells, is critical for biospecimen research, cell and tissue banking, cellular therapies, and tissue engineering. Conversely, destruction of cells, such as cancer cells, is important for therapeutic applications such as cryosurgery. Therefore, establishing the mechanisms of cell injury and death is crucial for optimizing the conditions to ensure the best outcome both for preservation and destruction of cells.
Bioencapsulation allows integration to existing remediation systems, concentrates bacteria beyond what is naturally possible, protects the entrapped cells from predation, environmental stressors, and the toxicity of high concentration pollutants. Silica gels are of great interest for this purpose, due to cytocompatible synthesis, tunable microstructure, chemical and biological stability, and mechanical strength. Our projects in this area focus on encapsulation of biodegrading bacteria for bioremediation.
Bacteria encapsulated within electrospun nanofibers