BME Seminar Series: “Functional Hydrogels for Wound healing, Tissue engineering and Ocular Diseases” by Kyung Jae Jeong, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of New Hampshire

Monday, February 25, 2019
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
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Kyung Jae Jeong, PhD
Department of Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of New Hampshire
Assistant Professor
Abstract:   Poor bioactivity and lack of porous structures often limit the clinical performance of injectable hydrogels. Here, we present an injectable macroporous hydrogel which has potential applications in wound healing. This formulation is composed of gelatin microgels, and these microgels are enzymatically crosslinked to form a bulk hydrogel with macropores created by the interstitial space among microgels. Human dermal fibroblasts (hDFs) adhered and proliferated within the interstitial space of the macroporous gelatin hydrogel without any further chemical modifications. In addition, the macroporous gelatin hydrogel was capable of releasing protein drugs at a controlled rate over two weeks. This simple and cost-effective injectable porous microgel system is expected to find applications in wound healing and tissue engineering. Encapsulation of various cell types within this injectable formulation for tissue engineering will be discussed.
As a second topic of my presentation, I will introduce a hydrogel that can be made into contact lens to treat corneal melting. Corneal melting is a rare ocular disease caused by the excessive expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) which degrades extracellular matrix (ECM) of cornea. There is no satisfying cure at the moment. We incorporated small synthetic molecules within a standard poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (pHEMA)-based hydrogel and demonstrated that the hydrogel effectively deactivates MMPs. The animal study of the therapeutic effects of this contact lens is under way.
Biography: Dr. Kyung Jae Jeong is the principal investigator of the Laboratory of Advanced Biomaterials at University of New Hampshire (UNH). He received his BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Seoul National University and PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in Chemical Engineering. After his postdoctoral training at MIT and Harvard Medical School, he took an assistant professor position in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UNH in 2013. His research focuses on engineering tissue-material interfaces to solve important medical problems. He is a core member of the NIH-funded Center of Integrated Biomedical and Bioengineering Research (CIBBR), and NSF-funded he New Hampshire Center for Multiscale Modeling and Manufacturing of Biomaterials (NH Biomade).
Department of Biomedical Engineering
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