Bencherif Lab publishes “Cryogel-Integrated Biochip for Liver Tissue Engineering” in ACS Applied Bio Materials

In collaboration with the “laboratoire Biomécanique et Bioingénierie (BMBI)” at University of Technology of Compiègne/Sorbonne University, we report a new method for performing 3D cell cultures in microfluidic devices: a macroporous cryogel integrated biochip with tunable mechanical properties intended to mimic the stiffness of a healthy or pathological liver tissue.

This new cell culture device, combining a 3D microenvironment and perfusable cell culture, mimics the native liver microenvironment more closely by reconstructing its physiological stiffness. The feasibility study performed with HepG2/C3A showed viable and functional cells, enabling 3D tissue organization throughout the biochip. This device is a promising tool for potentially developing reliable in vitro liver microtissues for drug toxicity and efficacy studies, but it also may be a platform to better understand and dissect liver cell biology.

Check out our article here for more information.

Our Research is Featured on the Front Cover of Biomaterials Science | Emerging Investigators Issue

One of our recent publications “Engineering a macroporous fibrin-based sequential interpenetrating polymer network for dermal tissue engineering” was featured on the front cover of the 2021 Biomaterials Science Emerging Investigators issue of Biomaterials Science. This article recently published in Biomaterials Science reports the synthesis and characterization of a new type of naturally derived and macroporous interpenetrating polymer network for skin repair.

This issue is part of the themed collection: Biomaterials Science Emerging Investigators 2021. Prof. Bencherif and other selected investigators were individually nominated by members of the journal Editorial and Advisory Boards, and previous Emerging Investigators, in recognition of their potential to influence future directions in the field of biomaterials.

More information can be found here. The article and the front cover can be found here.

In collaboration with the Bajpayee Lab, our Research is Featured on the Front Cover of Tissue Engineering Part A

In collaboration with Prof. Ambika G. Bajpayee (BioE), one of our recent publications “Hyaluronic Acid-Based Shape-Memory Cryogel Scaffolds for Focal Cartilage Defect Repair” was featured on the front cover of the June 2021 issue of the journal Tissue Engineering Part A. The cover art depicts an injectable shape-memory hyaluronic acid-based cryogel with macroporous structure (yellow) hosting self-organized 3D chondrocyte organoids (nucleus: blue, actin fibers: green, dead cells: red) for cartilage tissue engineering.

More information can be found here. The article and the front cover can be found here.

Bencherif Lab publishes “Oxygen-Generating Cryogels Restore T Cell Mediated Cytotoxicity in Hypoxic Tumors” in Advanced Functional Materials

Congratulations to Thibault Colombani and team (Loek Eggermont, Stephen Hatfield, Zachary Rogers, Mahboobeh Rezaeeyazdi, Adnan Memic, Michail Sitkovsky, and Prof. Sidi Bencherif) on their recent publication, reporting the design of injectable oxygen-generating cryogels (O2-cryogels) as a strategy to boost antitumor immune responses. These non-invasive biomaterials are used to controllably release oxygen into solid tumors, reverse hypoxia-driven immunosuppression, and promote the infiltration of pre-existing immune-fighting immune cells into solid tumors. O2-cryogels are a novel platform to deliver oxygen locally as a co-adjuvant in solid tumors, reinforce tumor-infiltrating T cells, and ultimately enhance cancer immunotherapies.

Check out the manuscript here and a Northeastern College of Engineering article here.

Prof. Bencherif Selected as 2021 ACS PMSE Young Investigator

“This award recognizes the Lab’s excellence in polymer research”

Congrats to Prof. Bencherif for being selected as a 2021 Young Investigator by the American Chemical Society’s Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (ACS PMSE). This distinction is meant to honor young researchers who have made significant contributions to their respective fields within Polymer Science and Engineering.  As part of this award, Prof. Bencherif has been invited to present 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.

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

Zach Wins Third Alpha Prototype Fund Grant

Zach Rogers, PhD student, was recently awarded the Alpha Fund Prototype Grant for his proposal, “Oxygen-controlling cell culture (OCC) systems”. The Alpha Fund, which is sponsored by both Northeastern’s venture accelerator IDEA and the Center for Research Innovation (CRI) aims to help early-stage innovations to test their concept and gain market feedback.

Congratulations Zach!

Ramya Wins PEAK Experiences Summit Award!

Ramya Kumar, a B.S. student in Behavioral Neuroscience, recently received the PEAK Experiences Summit Award for her project entitled, “Development of Lipoplexes-Containing Cryogels for Cancer Immunotherapy”. 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.

With her project, Ramya will encapsulate lipoplexes within cryogels and evaluate their potential as a cancer vaccine platform.

Aisha wins PEAK Experiences Summit Research Award

Aisha Svihla, BS/MS student in Bioengineering, recently received the PEAK Experiences Summit Award for her project entitled, “Oxygen-controlling cell culture (OCC) Systems”. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships grants this award to individuals who have demonstrated a passion for research and a high level of sophistication and skill developed from previous academic endeavors.

With her project, Aisha aims to develop a tool that allows biomedical scientists to culture their cells in physiologically relevant oxygen concentrations (e.g., concentrations in the human body), as standard cell culture practices do not control oxygen.

Congrats Aisha!

Congratulations to Bencherif Lab undergraduates

Hannah Boyce, chemical engineering undergraduate, was recently awarded Northeastern’s Huntington 100, an award that recognizes students that embody the mission, ideals and values of Northeastern.

In addition, Elizabeth (Liz) Fink, chemical engineering undergraduate, was recently accepted into MIT’s Ph.D. chemical engineering program.

Congratulations Hannah and Liz!

Hannah Boyce (left) and Liz Fink (right)

Bencherif Lab publishes “Harnessing biomaterials for therapeutic strategies against COVID-19” in Emergent Materials

Thibault Colombani, Zachary Rogers, Loek Eggermont and Sidi Bencherif recently published a review article in Emergent Materials that highlights the roles that biomaterials play in developing COVID-19 therapeutic strategies. These include developing drug screening models, antiviral therapies, delivery systems, cellular nanovesicles and vaccines.

Check it out here.