Ramya among Northeastern’s Huntington 100 awardees

Ramya has been selected as one of Northeastern’s Huntington 100. This is a significant milestone! The Huntington 100 honors every year the best and brightest students who exemplify the principles, missions, and values of Northeastern University. 

Prof. Bencherif Received a PMSE Young Investigator Award at the ACS Spring Meeting

Congrats to Prof. Bencherif for receiving a Young Investigator Award by the American Chemical Society’s Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (ACS PMSE). Prof. Bencherif presented the lab’s recent research advancements in the PMSE Young Investigator Symposium at the Spring 2022 ACS National Meeting in San Diego, CA.

For more information on the PMSE Young Investigator award, you can visit the PMSE website here

Our Work is Among Top Cited Publications!

Our research published in Macromolecular Materials and Engineering is among top cited papers and generated immediate impact in the field. Congrats everyone!!

Check out our article here for more information.

Jonathan Wins PEAK Experiences Summit Award!

Jonathan Keeley, a B.S./M.S. student in chemical engineering, has recently been awarded the PEAK Experiences Summit Award for his project “Mechanically Induced Osteogenesis of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Silk Fibroin Cryogel Scaffolds”. This competitive award, offered by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, is granted to individuals who have demonstrated high levels of expertise and independence through their prior engagement in their fields. 

With his project, Jonathan will seed silk fibroin cryogels with human mesenchymal stem cells and measure the effects of sustained periodic compression on their differentiation along the osteogenic lineage.

Congrats Jon! More information can be found here.

Chloe Wins PEAK Experiences Summit Award!

Ke (Chloe) Wen, a B.S. student in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry, has recently received the PEAK Experiences Summit Award for her project entitled, “Evaluating the Effect of Matrix Stiffness on Glycocalyx Expression using a Fluidic Device”. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships grants this competitive award to individuals who have demonstrated a passion for research and a high level of sophistication and skill developed from previous academic endeavors.

In collaboration with the Ebong’s Lab, Chloe will develop an in-vitro platform with non-swelling hydrogels with tunable rigidity to study the effect of matrix stiffness on the expression of endothelial glycocalyx, which would help to further understand the role of mechanobiology in atherosclerosis development.

Congrats Chloe! More information can be found here.

Joyce Wins PEAK Experiences Ascent Award!

Joyce Shen, a third-year Biochemistry student, has recently received a PEAK Experiences Ascent Award for her project “Engineering Polyester-Coated Microparticles for Extended Oxygen Release” for Spring 2022. This award is granted by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships to students with basic conceptual and practical skills who seek to broaden and deepen their competencies in research and creative endeavor.

With her project, Joyce will coat calcium peroxide particles with polyester and incorporate them into cryogels in order to potentially extend oxygen release and address hypoxia.

Congrats Joyce! More information can be found here.

Bencherif Lab publishes “Engineering hyaluronic acid-based cryogels for CD44-mediated breast tumor reconstruction” in Materials Today Bio

Congratulations to Mahboobeh Rezaeeyazdi and team (Thibault Colombani, Loek Eggermont, and Prof. Sidi A. Bencherif) on their recent publication in Materials Today Bio. This work reports the design of biomimetic cryogel scaffolds fabricated from hyaluronic acid (HA) as a platform to reconstruct CD44-positive breast tumor microtissues with aspects of the complex tumor microenvironment in 3D. 

HA-based cryogels represent an effective starting point for designing more realistic tumor models for preclinical research, therapeutic drug screening, and early cancer diagnosis.

Check it out here for more information:

The Bencherif Lab Receives $250,000 NSF PFI-PTT Award

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $250,000 Partnerships for Innovation – Technology Translation (PFI-TT) grant to ChE Assistant Professor Sidi A. Bencherif for “Cell Culture System with Enzyme-based Control of Oxygen Concentration to Enhance Biomedical Research”. The team includes graduate student Zachary Rogers, CEO of Cryoxia Biosciences, and technology commercialization expert/consultant Dr. James Sherley, CEO of Asymmetrex.

Prof. S.A. Bencherif (Left), Z. Rogers (Middle), Dr. J. Sherley (Right)

Abstract Source: NSF

In the proposed project, the Bencherif Lab will develop an Oxygen-Controlling Cell Culture (OCC) system, an enzyme-based approach adaptable to standard vessels used routinely in cell culture.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this PFI-TT project is to enhance biomedical research by controlling oxygen in cell culture. Cell culture, in which scientists attempt to grow cells in conditions like those in the body, is one of the most useful techniques in biomedical research. However, oxygen, a critical factor for cell behavior and physiology, is not controlled during standard cell cultures. In fact, cells in laboratory cell culture experience up to 50-fold higher oxygen concentrations than they do in the body. By changing the status quo of cell culture from non-oxygen-controlled to oxygen-controlled, the proposed technology can advance the scientific understanding of oxygen’s role in disease development, biological processes, and human tissues. In addition, the technology can improve human health by (i) fueling the discovery of new drugs and drug targets, (ii) improving the accuracy of the drug screening process, reducing the attrition rate, cost and time spent on failed drugs, and (iii) accelerating the commercialization of cell-based therapies for cancer treatment and regenerative medicine. 

The project includes an entrepreneurial education and leadership development plan for graduate student Zach Rogers that will include prototyping/optimizing the OCC system and customer discovery activities, mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs in biotechnology and physiologic/hypoxic cell culture, and innovation and entrepreneurship activities. The project activities will also support graduate student Zachary Rogers and provide research opportunities for undergraduate students from diverse groups.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Related Faculty: SIDI A. BENCHERIF

Related Departments: Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering

Prof. Bencherif Named Influential Researcher by American Chemical Society

Congrats to Prof. Bencherif for being named an influential researcher by the largest and most-cited general chemical engineering research journal in the world. The journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (I&EC), which is published by the American Chemical Society for Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, named its incoming 2021 class in the Dec. 8 edition. Prof. Bencherif was among 36 researchers selected from institutions around the world.

The global team of editors and editorial advisory board members identified this class of influential, early career researchers based on the quality and impact of their research. ACS I&EC is the largest, oldest, most cited, and highly selective general interest chemical engineering journal with global visibility across all facets of the chemistry profession.

For more information on the 2021 Class of Influential Researchers, you can visit the ACS I&EC website here.

For more information about this story, you can visit the COE website here.

Bencherif Lab publishes “Avian Egg: A Multifaceted Biomaterial for Tissue Engineering” in ACS I&EC

In collaboration with researchers from Shiraz University in Iran, the Bencherif Lab recently published a review article titled “Avian Egg: A Multifaceted Biomaterial for Tissue Engineering” in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research by the American Chemical Society. This review summarizes the advantages and status of egg components in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as well as their current limitations and future perspectives.

Check out the article here.