Ho-Wook Jun, Ph.D.

Research Description

Dr. Jun’s group focuses on nanostructured biomaterials and stem cell based tissue regeneration. There are three main research projects. The first project is on drug eluting stent (DES) applications. The DES application is designed to deliver therapeutic drugs to prevent intimal hyperplasia. However, recent reports suggested that DESs have been associated with a higher risk of late thrombosis, which may be related to lack of endothelialization. Therefore, the main goal of this project is to develop an innovative strategy for the next generation of DESs using a native endothelium mimicking self-assembled nanomatrix coating which will inhibit both restenosis and thrombosis while enhancing endothelialization. The second project is for bone tissue regeneration. We have created a bone analogous self-assembled composite nanomatrix gel which can emulate the essential properties of natural bone tissue formation by capturing biological, organic, inorganic, and vascularized components. It allows the study of dynamic interactions between components to tackle current challenges and important questions in bone tissue regeneration. The third project is for islet transplantation. Pancreatic islet transplantation (PIT) is a promising treatment for Type 1 diabetes, but substantial loss of islet cells in the peritransplant period represents a major limitation for practical implementation of PIT as a cure for diabetes. In this regard, islet isolation is associated with disruption of the islet interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM), a process that results in islet death. Therefore, the goal of this study is to increase the efficacy of PIT by embedding islets within ECM mimicking self-assembled PA nanomatrx and transplant into extraheptic sites.

Email: hwjun@uab.edu