Jose García

Department: George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Graduate Program: BioEngineering

Advisor: Andrés García, PhD

Lab Website

Research Summary:

Current attempts at delivering stem cells to bone defects result in very low percentage of engraftment of the stem cells and much of the observed therapeutic effects are a result of paracrine signals rather than actual stem cell repair. My current work is to develop engineered hydrogels incorporated with specific proteins to improve the engraftment of stem cells on bone defects and ultimately enhance bone healing.

Critically-sized defects pose a significant problem in today's healthcare field and although cell-encapsulated biomaterials are promising endeavors, in most applications, cells within the biomaterial die due to low-oxygen conditions within the defect before any therapeutic benefit is seen. This project is looking to improve cell-survival within fully synthetic constructs be providing an adequate cellular environment through the use of appropriate binding sites and growth factor encapsulation.

 

Biosketch:

I received my Bachelor of Science degree (Summa cum laude) in Biological Engineering with a concentration in Biomechanics from the University of Florida (UF) in May 2012. While an undergraduate at UF, I conducted two years of research in the Biomedical Therapeutics lab under the direction of Dr. Brian Sorg. My research concentrated on the creation of polymeric “smart” nanoparticles for enhanced delivery to tumors.  The goal was to reduce the systemic delivery of antitumor drugs used for Photodynamic therapy (PDT) through incorporation of the drugs into nanoparticle carriers that would preferentially reside in tumorgenic environments. I worked to establish the chemistry protocols and procedures used to create the nanoparticles as well as designed and carried out in vitro analysis of the incorporated drug’s efficacy at producing tissue-destroying reactive oxygen species. In addition, I completed an R&D internship with Johnson and Johnson Consumer where I researched the development of novel vehicles for transcutaneous drug delivery. In August 2012, I joined the lab of Dr. Andrés García as a Ph.D student in Bioengineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.