Honors & News
November 1, 2013
Amy Van Hove, Brandon Wilson and Danielle Benoit, Ph.D. have published an article entitled, Microwave-assisted Functionalization of Poly(ethylene glycol) and On-resin Peptides for Use in Chain Polymerizations and Hydrogel Formation, in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (Jove). The paper discussed one of the main benefits to using poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) macromers in hydrogel formation is synthetic versatility. The ability to draw from a large variety of PEG molecular weights and configurations (arm number, arm length, and branching pattern) affords researchers tight control over resulting hydrogel structures and properties, including Young's modulus and mesh size. To view the video which illustrates a rapid, efficient, solvent-free, microwave-assisted method to methacrylate PEG precursors into poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (PEGDM) click here.
September 18, 2013
Jason Inzana and Dr. Hani Awad
A recent article in Hajim School of Engineering' and Applied Sciences' newsletter, The Full Spectrum, features examples of how tissue engineering research at the Biomedical Engineering Department, much of which is conducted in preclinical models to heal traumatic injuries, is bolstered by the work of BME faculty and graduate students in the laboratories of professors Awad, Benoit, and Buckley, capitalizing on close ties with the Center for Musculoskeletal Research.
As part of a consortium of research projects funded by AOTrauma, Dr. Hani Awad and his lab members are using new 3D printing technology to fabricate bone scaffolds made of biocompatible material to replace the original bone tissue lost to infection. As part of the
printingprocess, the scaffolds can be
ink-jettedwith antibiotics to fight the infection and with growth factors to stimulate replacement bone growth. These therapeutics can be applied to the surface of the graft, or embedded uniformly in it, so they can be released gradually, as the graft dissolves, to ensure the infection is eradicated and to stimulate regeneration of the bone tissue.
Dr. Danielle Benoit
Dr. Mark Buckley
With support from a National Institutes of Health grant, Dr. Danielle Benoit's team is exploring the use of hydrogels - Jell-O-like polymers - that can be seeded with the patient's own stem cells and wrapped around the transplant. Benoit's graduate student Michael Hoffman has demonstrated that as the hydrogel dissolves, the stem cells are gradually released and promote bone healing and integration. Benoit is exploring various ways in which this can all be orchestrated to maximize graft healing and integration.
Dr. Mark Buckley, who joined biomedical engineering as an assistant professor at the start of the year, is studying heat buildup in tendons as they are stretched during various activities and the extent to which this contributes to cell death and eventual deterioration of the tendon. A key part of this research involves characterizing exactly what constitutes healthy tendon structure and function.
September 12, 2013
Congratulations to Amy Van Hove for a Successful Qualifying Exam!
Congratulations to Amy Van Hove for a Successful Qualifying Exam! Amy is currently a graduate student in the Benoit Lab, and her current project is Therapeutic Biomaterials for Wound Healing Applications (Supported by an HHMI Med-Into-Grad Fellowship).
July 2, 2013
Danielle Benoit Awarded Two Year Grant From New York Stem Cell Science (NYSTEM)
Danielle Benoit, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded a two year grant from New York Stem Cell Science (NYSTEM), for the project, entitled: Promoting MSC-mediated musculoskeletal tissue regeneration using sustained, localized sirna delivery. This research will develop hydrogel-based, sustained and localized delivery systems for small interfering RNA (siRNA) to promote mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-mediated tissue regeneration. Our initial application for this approach is as a delivery system to enhance fracture healing.
June 27, 2013
Drs. Catherine Ovitt & Szilvia Arany's article,
Nanoparticle-mediated gene silencing confers radioprotection to salivary glands in vivojournal Molecular Therapy, has been featured on NIDCR website. The results of the study suggest that optimization of in vivo siRNA-mediated silencing for clinical application could be an effective means of protecting salivary glands in the radiation treatment of head and neck cancer. They also pointed out that the approach has significant advantages over alternative methods, as it is limited to the salivary glands, does not involve viruses, and the block in Pkcδ protein expression is only temporary.
June 14, 2013
BME Undergraduate Awarded Scholarship for 2013-14
BME undergraduate Amanda Chen has been awarded a Tau Beta Pi Scholarship for 2013-14, in the amount of $2,000 for a year of full-time academic study, or $1,000 for a semester or two quarters of full-time academic study. Amanda is currently studying therapeutic biomaterials for treating bone remodeling disorders in Dr. Danielle Benoit's lab. Congratulations Amanda!
June 4, 2013
The Benoit Lab Lemonade Stand at the Rochester Public Market in 2012
On most days, Danielle Benoit can be found in her lab developing better ways to administer medicines for treating diseases, particularly childhood cancer. This weekend, Benoit and the other researchers in her lab will show their support for the foundation that helps fund their research. They'll put down their beakers and syringes in favor of pitchers of lemonade—in the spirit of the little girl who made it all possible.
The 4th Annual Benoit Laboratory Lemonade Stand takes place this weekend at the Rochester and Brighton public markets. Benoit, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and her fellow researchers will be serving lemonade and explaining their work on childhood cancer therapies. It's part of a national effort organized by Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
The name comes from Alexandra "Alex" Scott of Connecticut, a four-year-old girl who was diagnosed with cancer before her first birthday. She set up lemonade stands every year before her death at age 8 to raise money so that doctors could find a cure for cancer. The idea spread, and children in other parts of the country set up their own lemonade stands to join the cause.
"Cancer affects children differently than it does adults," said Benoit. "The causes are unknown and the treatments are less-than-optimal since they were developed for adults." Cancer is also the leading cause of death for children 15 and younger.
April 19, 2013
BME Undergraduates Win President's, Dean's, and Professor's Choice Awards
Ian Marozas, a BME undergraduate in Danielle Benoit's lab, was awarded the President's Award for Undergraduate Research in Engineering and Applied Sciences, this afternoon at the Undergraduate Research Expo for his presentation Development of Targeted Drug Delivery Systems for the Treatment of Osteoporosis. Also, Michael David won the Dean's Award for Undergraduate Research in Engineering & Applied Sciences for his talk Effect of High Fat Diet-Induced Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes on Tendon Repair (Mentor: Dr. Robert Mooney) and Ka Lai Tsang won the Professor's Choice Award in Engineering and Applied Sciences for her poster Determination of Effective masses and parametric study of the organ of corti (Mentor: Jong-Hoon Nam).
March 29, 2013
Biomedical Engineering (BME) Undergraduate, Amanda Chen ('14) has been selected as a 2013 Goldwater Scholar. Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate.
The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. Amanda is currently persuing research in Dr. Danielle Benoit's lab focusing on Therapeutic Biomaterials for Treating Bone Remodeling Disorders. Her future goals include persuing a Ph.D. in BME as well as continuing research in therapeutics and targeted delivery, while teaching at the university level.
March 5, 2013
Danielle Benoit Awarded Five Year Grant From NIH
Danielle Benoit, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded a five year grant from National Institutes of Health, specifically the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), for the project, entitled: Tissue engineering strategies to revitalize bone allografts. This project focuses on the revitalization of allografts using tissue-engineering strategies to recapitulate critical healing functions of the periosteum. Our objective is to develop periosteum mimetics composed of synthetic hydrogels (poly(ethylene glycol), PEG) for MSC transplantation to:
- Promote cell-mediated allograft healing/integration
- Isolate the critical factors of the periosteum in healing
- Develop cell-free therapies that result in complete allograft healing and integration.
February 25, 2013
BME Graduate Student Publishes Review in Clinical Orthopaedics Journal
BME Graduate Student, Michael Hoffman, has had a review he wrote, Engineering the periosteum: revitalizing allografts by mimicking autograft healing published by the Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. Michael is currently a graduate student in the Benoit Lab working on the project, Tissue Engineered Periosteum Approaches to Heal Bone Allograft Transplants, which is supported by an NIH T32 training grant 'Training in Orthopaedics'.
February 17, 2013
BME Graduate Student, Michael Hoffman Publishes Article
BME Graduate Student, Michael Hoffman, had his first publication, based on his thesis research accepted by the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. Michael is currently a graduate student in the Benoit Lab working on the project, Tissue Engineered Periosteum Approaches to Heal Bone Allograft Transplants, which is supported by an NIH T32 training grant 'Training in Orthopaedics'.
February 9, 2013
Congrats to Dr. Danielle Benoit on the Birth of her Son, Raymond James
Danielle Benoit, Ph.D. and her husband, Pat, are delighted to announce the birth of their son, Raymond James Benoit greeted the world promptly at 6:26 AM on February 9th (his due date), weighing 7 lbs 9 oz and measuring 19.25 inches. The entire BME family is excited and wishes to extend their congratulations to Dr. Benoit!
- Disruption of Cell-Cell Contact-mediated Notch Signaling via Hydrogel Encapsulation Reduces Mesenchymal Stem Cell Chondrogenic Potential. J Biomed Mater Res A. In press. (2014 Dec 11).
- Development and in vitro assessment of enzymatically-responsive poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels for the delivery of therapeutic peptides. Biomaterials. 35, 9719-30. (2014 Dec 01).
- Degradable hydrogels for spatiotemporal control of mesenchymal stem cells localized at decellularized bone allografts. Acta Biomater. 10, 3431-41. (2014 Aug 01).