Wang receives $2.2M grant to develop programmable biomaterials

07/23/2015

Yong Wang, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Penn State, was recently awarded a five-year, $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to develop programmable biomaterials.

As the principal investigator, Wang will work to develop programmable biomaterials with the ability to release multiple signaling molecules on demand over time, closely mimicking the tissues and organs of the human body. The programmable biomaterials will have potential applications to treat a variety of complex human diseases.

Plans for the research include creating an implantable hydrogel that will target and improve vessel health through the facilitated delivery of oxygen, protein and other cell-sustaining properties. Wang will focus most specifically on the treatment of cardiovascular disease, seeking methods to repair or regenerate heart tissue.

“Research in the area of biomaterials is very complex and individuals have been seeking answers to the challenges that growth factors pose for many years, “ said Wang. “Our group is currently addressing many of these issues at a rapid pace with very compelling outcomes.”

The majority of the research will be conducted at Penn State, with a portion being performed at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, under the direction of the project co-investigator, Guo-Hua Fong, professor of vascular biology. While the researchers are currently working to develop an implantable material, they believe that in the long run, the formula can be expressed in multiple forms such as injectable solutions or capsules.

Wang began his career at the University of Connecticut and joined The Penn State Department of  Biomedical Engineering in 2013. Since joining the University, he has brought federal funding of nearly $2.8 million to support biomaterials and drug delivery research.

Wang currently serves on the editorial boards of three international journals and was a keynote speaker at the 41st Northeast Bioengineering Conference in April 2015.

He is also a 2015 recipient of the Penn State College of Engineering and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Grace Woodward Grant for Collaborative Research in Engineering and Medicine

Wang’s research interests include antibody-like nanomaterials, programmable protein delivery systems and tissue-like nanostructured biomaterials.

 

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Mindy Krause

muk45@psu.edu

Yong Wang, associate professor of biomedical engineering

Yong Wang, associate professor of biomedical engineering

researcher in Yong Wang's Lab female researcher in Yong Wang's research lab

Researchers in Wang’s Biomolecular and Biomimetic Materials Laboratory work to create programmable materials to aid drug delivery, tissue regeneration and in the process of clinical diagnosis.

“Research in the area of biomaterials is very complex and individuals have been seeking answers to the challenges that growth factors pose for many years. Our group is currently addressing many of these issues at a rapid pace with very compelling outcomes.”

—Yong Wang

 
 

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The Department of Biomedical Engineering administers the undergraduate major in biomedical engineering, and is a part of the university-wide Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering. Our work combines traditional engineering principles with medicine and technology for the betterment of human health and society. 

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