Biomaterials and Nanomedicine

"We’re working with orthopedic surgeons to understand how to guide the immune system in trauma patients to help heal broken bones and joints."

— Caroline Hoemann, professor of bioengineering

New materials and biologically-inspired nano-designs are revolutionizing disease treatments.

Ketul Popat, Chair and Professor
Caroline Hoemann, Professor
Remi Veneziano, Assistant Professor


We work with polymers, nanoparticles, lab-on-chip devices, and biologically-inspired designs to create novel systems that fulfill unmet needs in areas such as cancer, inflammatory disease, joint tissue repair, and next-generation vaccines.

Our areas of expertise:

Biomaterial-guided regenerative medicine

Tissue repair is naturally initiated by a blood clot, which releases factors that attract innate immune cells to guide the healing response.

We use biomaterials to engineer the blood clot so that tissues can regenerate with more durable and functional structures. Biomaterials made of polysaccharides, chains of sugar units, can be used to alter cell migration—a type of inflammation—and increase the number of blood vessels that are attracted to a repairing wound.

We are investigating new methods to sense and predict the healing potential of complex bone fractures, as well as to predict whether certain individuals are at risk for infection or delayed healing of traumatic bone fractures. Our lab is also designing biomaterial implants that stimulate therapeutic inflammation and help treat damaged bone and soft tissues in the knee joint. Principal investigator: Caroline Hoemann.

Caroline Hoemann doing biomaterials research with students in her lab

Caroline Hoemann, professor in the Bioengineering Department, is researching how to use biomaterials to guide the immune system to heal bone fractures and fight infection.

Bio-inspired nanoarchitectures for control of cell behavior

Nanoscale organization of bio-macromolecules on the cell membrane is crucial for numerous key biological mechanisms including antigen recognition by B-cell receptors as part of the adaptive immune response, pathogen entry into cells, and cell signaling.

We are developing biomimetic DNA nanoarchitectures to control the spatial organization of macromolecules and examine the role of antigen valency and organization in B-cell activation to further understand the macromolecular organization requirements needed for efficacious vaccines. We are also designing nanostructures that mimic the presentation of virus targeting moieties for efficient delivery of various therapeutic cargos. Principal investigator: Remi Veneziano.