Dr. Steven Little

(Department of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, Immunology, and The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine). Drug Delivery; Biomaterials; Biomimetics

Dr. Little's Profile

Biomimetic strategies are a common theme in the Little Labs. The act of mimicking a biological event (or series of events) using a synthetic material or delivery regime is a logical way to enhance function. We are currently exploring several techniques to make materials that act like biological matrices. We are also exploring delivery strategies that mimic the way that cells and tissues in the body would deliver signals to trigger wound healing or immune responses. For instance, it is well known that wound healing is a multi-stage process involving a cascade of events including temporal presence and absence of growth factors. We have recently devised a strategy to deliver a true temporal schedule of angiogenic growth factors, improving the growth of new blood vessels. Finally, we have recently made key advances in the area of rational design such that we can precisely tune a delivery vehicle to produce biomimetic behavior. Overall, the implications of this work are the emergence of new therapies that "imitate life" and enabling technologies to explore key biological modalities for the first time.