Regeneration of damaged tissues involves a complex cascade of events in which a variety of biomolecules and cell types participate [e.g., J. Invest. Surg. 1997;10:77; Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 1992;200:165; Int. J. Dev. Biol. 1993;37:573]. When this system becomes dysfunctional, opportunistic and undesirable tissue responses result. Although the optimal mode and profiles for delivering biomolecules to control healing remain unknown, understanding of events during physiological and pathophysiological processes can be used to guide design of controlled release systems.
Using different biodegradable materials, modulated release profiles were created to deliver biomolecules that stimulate preferred and/or inhibit unwanted cell activities. Rather than seeking zero-order kinetics, the goal was to obtain temporally varying profiles of multiple molecules.
The potential of this strategy is being investigated in several proof-of-concept models. Examples listed under the “Projects” button illustrate some of the approaches we are taking to controlling the interface between biomaterials, cells, and tissues.