(4dx) Biomodulatory Materials

Ulery, B. D., University of Chicago

As the field of biomedical engineering moves forward and tackles grand challenges like targeted intracellular delivery and organ regeneration, there exists a need for novel, multi-dimensional strategies to be developed. Current biomedical engineering solutions comprised of one biomaterial with basic structure performing a single task are suboptimal for carrying out high-order biologically-relevant functions. Instead new systems must be composed of multiple biomaterials with complex molecular-, nano-, and micro-architecture capable of performing a variety of tasks with desirable spatiotemporal control. This increase in complexity means that next generation technologies require research-based approaches from a variety of scientific fields integrated together in order to be successful.

My research to date has focused on utilizing biomaterials to induce desired biological responses through drug delivery, tissue engineering, and immunoengineering strategies. I completed my PhD in 2010 in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Immunobiology at Iowa State University under the guidance of Professor Balaji Narasimhan. In collaboration with Professor Michael Wannemuehler in the department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventative Medicine, my research focused on the development of polyanhydride nanoparticle-based delivery vehicles for immunomodulatory applications. In specific, I investigated how polymer chemistry affected dendritic cell activation in vitro as well as enhanced and sustained vaccine-based immune responses in vivo. From 2010 to 2012, I worked with Professor Cato Laurencin as a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut Health Center. My postdoctoral research focused on designing novel biomaterials-based strategies capable of providing the necessary chemical, biological, and mechanical cues necessary to regenerate musculoskeletal tissues. Specifically, I showed that ions and simple molecules can differentiate stem cells down desired lineages while simultaneously inducing these cells to produce their own growth and differentiation factors. Since 2012, I have been a postdoctoral scholar under the advisement of Professor Matthew Tirrell in the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. My current research focuses on creating and optimizing self-assembled peptide amphiphile micelles for immunological applications. Specifically, I am working on projects in a variety of areas including prophylactic vaccines, cancer immunotherapies, and immunomodulatory tissue engineering. An overarching theme of my research has been and will continue to be the application of basic science and engineering principles to the development of new biomedical technologies which has so far yielded 19 peer-reviewed publications, manuscript submissions, book chapters, and technology disclosures.

During this poster session I will highlight examples from my graduate work and postdoctoral research that demonstrate the capacity of biomaterials to initiate and sustain immune responses and direct tissue development. Building on my previous work, I will outline my plans to build a distinguished, independent research program at the interface of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science, and immunology. I will discuss how immunoengineering and tissue engineering provide opportunities to apply novel biomaterials strategies. The overall goal of my independent research will be to exploit biomaterials chemistry to generate desirable bioengineering outcomes.

Related References:

1) B.D. Ulery, H. M. Kan, B.C. Williams, B. Narasimhan, L.S. Nair, C.T. Laurencin. “Facile fabrication of polymer/anesthetic nanoparticles with tunable release kinetics.” Biomacromolecules. (Submitted)

2) E.K. Cushnie*, B.D. Ulery*, S.J. Nelson, M. Deng, S. Sethuraman, K.W.H. Lo, Y.M. Khan, and C.T. Laurencin. “Inducerons: Simple signaling molecules for inductive tissue engineering.” Nature Communications. (Submitted)

3) Q. Lv, M. Deng, B.D. Ulery, L.S. Nair, and C.T. Laurencin. “Nano-ceramic effects on stem cells in bioreactor bone engineering systems.” Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. (In Press)

4) K.W.H. Lo*, B.D. Ulery*, K.M. Ashe, H.M. Kan, and C.T. Laurencin. “Evaluating the feasibility of the small molecule phenamil as a novel osteoinductive factor for bone regenerative engineering.” Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. (In Press)

5) P. L. Foley, B.D. Ulery, H. M. Kan, M. V. Burks, Z. Cui, Q. Wu, L.S. Nair, and C.T. Laurencin. “A chitosan thermogel for delivery of ropivacaine in regional musculoskeletal anaesthesia.” Biomaterials. 34(10): 2539-2546 (Mar 2013)

6) K.W.H. Lo*, B.D. Ulery*, K.M. Ashe, and C.T. Laurencin. “Studies of bone morphogenetic protein based surgical repair.” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. 64(12): 1277-1291. (Sept 2012)

7) M.S. Peach, S.G. Kumbar, R. James, U.S. Toti, D. Balasubramaniam, M. Deng, B.D. Ulery, A.D. Mazzocca, M.B. McCarthy, N.L. Morozowich, H.R. Allcock, and C.T. Laurencin. “Design and optimization of polyphosphazene functionalized fiber matrices for soft tissue regeneration.” Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology. 8(1): 107-124. (Feb 2012)

8) B.D. Ulery*, L.K. Petersen*, Y. Phanse, C.S. Kong, S.R. Broderick, D. Kumar, A. E. Ramer-Tait, B. Carillo-Conde, K. Rajan, B.H. Bellaire, M.J. Wannemuehler, D.W. Metzger, and B. Narasimhan. “Rational design of pathogen-mimicking amphiphilic materials as nanoadjuvants.” Scientific Reports. 1(198) (Dec 2011)

9) L.K. Petersen, A.E. Ramer-Tait, S.R. Broderick, C.S. Kong, B.D. Ulery, K. Rajan, M.J. Wannemuehler, and B. Narasimhan. “Amphiphilic polyanhydride nanoparticle adjuvants activate innate immune responses in a pathogen-mimicking manner.” Biomaterials. 32(28): 6815 - 6822. (Oct 2011)

10) B.D. Ulery, L.S. Nair, and C.T. Laurencin. “Biomedical applications of biodegradable polymers.” Journal of Polymer Physics Part B: Polymer Physics. 49(12):832 - 864. (Jun 2011)

11) B.D. Ulery*, D. Kumar*, A.E. Ramer-Tait, D.W. Metzger, M.J. Wannemuehler, and B. Narasimhan. “Design of a protective single-dose intranasal nanoparticle-based vaccine platform for respiratory infectious diseases.” PLoS One. 6(3): e17642. (Mar 2011)

12) B.D. Ulery, Y. Phanse, A. Sinha, M.J. Wannemuehler, B. Narasimhan, and B.H. Bellaire. “Polymer chemistry influences monocytic uptake of polyanhydride nanospheres.” Pharmaceutical Research. 26(3): 683 - 690. (Mar 2009)

13) B.D. Ulery, K. Pustulka, Y. Phanse, B. Bellaire, and B. Narasimhan. “Amphiphilic polyanhydride chemistry affects monocytic association of nanospheres.” Proceedings of the 37th Annual Biochemical Engineering Symposium. 37: 52 - 59. (Jan 2009)

 * These Authors Contributed Equally