Team Members

Alice White (BU), Team Leader,

Arvind Agarwal (FIU)

david bishop
Dave Bishop (BU)

Kamil Ekinci (BU)

Mark Grinstaff (BU)

Joerg Lahann
Joerg Lahann (UMich)

Chenzhong Li (FIU)

Daniel Lopez (Argonne National Lab)



The Research: Dynamic Scaffolds

Picture1An ERC Technical Challenge3D scaffolds that provide the mechanical and chemical cues necessary to drive cell organization into functional patches of cardiac tissue.





  • Design and print novel materials and structures
  • Explore actuator technologies for dynamic scaffolds
  • Pattern and grow vasculature
  • Pattern nano-adhesion sites on 3D structures
  • Develop embedded biosensors to monitor cell metrics
  • Scale up

  • Point out the Cardiomyocyte bundle (Modular Building Block)
  • The cardiac test bed (point out the scaffold in the Cardiac Test Bed)
  • The system (vascularized cardiac)
  • Micrometer- to cm-size designer scaffolds with deep submicron features and nanoscale patterning  to guide tissue growth
  • Actuation schemes for scaffolds to drive cell organization
  • Printed vasculature that supplies nutrients, removes waste and promotes angiogenesis
  • Embedded electrical and optical biosensors to monitor behavior of tissues
  • Optimizing these techniques for high throughput and scale up



The key attribute is dynamic scaffolds, where we can independently control the composition and mechanical environment. At the heart is the cardiac test bed—3D Printing, multiscale patterning to build cardiomyocyte scaffolds with micron-scale features and cm-size extent. Next, deploy actuators to drive scaffold movement, followed by nanoscale patterning —provided by Thrust Area 1. Following that:

  • Both organic compounds for cell adhesion and both metals for embedded biosensor fabrication
  • Demonstrated on soft materials with topography already
  • Embed sensors (electrical at first, eventually optical) to actively monitor tissue metrics
  • As the size of the patches gets larger than 100um, add vasculature to provide oxygen
  • Add cells and give them the cues that they need to do their part
  • Transition—take a deeper dive into each of these core technologies