Nanomatrix Scaffold Core
Core Director: Derrick Dean, PhD
The mission of this core is to provide biomedical researchers at UAB with the ability to fabricate nanostructured natural or synthetic fibrous scaffolds using electrostatic spinning and to characterize their thermal and rheological properties of these polymeric materials used for scaffolds. This Core has the potential to develop truly innovative “smart” biomaterials by utilizing the biologic expertise available at UAB through the BERM Center in extracellular matrix, developmental biology, and disease-based models to identify molecular targets for biomaterials development. Such materials will be used to direct stem cell differentiation, act as vehicles for gene delivery, or provide biomechanical scaffold support. Currently this core has state of the art capabilities for electrospinning of natural or synthetic polymers into nanoscale fibers. Planned addition of microfabrication capabilities will extend the ability of the Core to develop precisely patterned hierarchical, spatially organized 2 and 3-dimensional scaffolds that incorporate cells, growth factors and various nanomaterials into the structure to mimicking of the complex, hierarchical structure present in the anterior cruciate ligament, for example.