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ASU Bone Tissue Regeneration Group


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Welcome Message

The bone tissue regeneration project at Alabama State University focuses on developing biodegradable materials that mimic the characteristics of extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM present in the bone skeleton is a highly porous three-dimensional structure with nanoscale morphology. It consists of various body proteins such as collagen and serves as the mineral reservoir for hydoxyapatite (HA), which is composed mainly of calcium and phosphate and cells bind to the components of the ECM.

Tissue regeneration is a viable option that avoids the problems associated with autografting, allografting, and xenografting, and reduces the need for transplantable grafts. Scaffolds made from biodegradable polymers are engineered and implanted to facilitate repair of damaged organs and tissues. These scaffolds are designed to provide an environment conducive to cell growth which helps expedite the regeneration process. Furthermore, multifunctional scaffolds can be engineered to repair injured tissues while providing growth-aiding proteins or delivering drugs to treat the injured site in a manner that reduces problems associated with other types of drug delivery.


The natural ECM plays an important role on morphogenesis, tissue development, and angiogenesis since it acts as binding sites for many proteins such as cytokine molecules and growth factors. Another challenge for designing tissue engineering scaffolds is to develop carriers capable of releasing proteins in a highly controlled manner thereby further mimicking the role of the natural ECM. We have shown in our laboratory that nanofibrous polymeric scaffolds which mimic the nanoscale morphology and chemical nature of the ECM are highly conducive to cell growth. The goal of the current project is to further mimic the ECM by understanding the fundamental mechanisms involved in the adsorption and release of therapeutics from polymeric tissue scaffolds. This understanding will aid in the development of new drug eluting tissue scaffolds. Specific objectives of the proposed project include:

  • Manipulating the physical and chemical characteristics of the scaffold.
  • Control of the binding of therapeutics to HA.
  • Modulating release via scaffold degradation, by blending polymers and/or crosslinking.
  • Varying HA crystal shape, crystallinity and surface chemistry.
  • Effect of drug release on cell adhesion, spreading, proliferation and molecular functions.


DSC, FTIR, Tissue culture facility, Molecular Biology facility

­Group Members

Mishra 2013 nyairo
Manoj Mishra Elijah Nyairo
James Monica Smith
James Stokes III
Graduate Student
Monica Smith
Undergraduate Student



dean d Thomas

Dr. Derrick Dean

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Vinoy Thomas

University of Alabama at Birmingham



Past Members

Lutrisha Altidor

Lutrisha Altidor
Graduated 2012
Future aspirations: Medical Doctor