Guvendiren Lab

Instructive Biomaterials and Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (IBAM-Lab)


Research Summary:


The major bottleneck in medicine is the lack of organs and tissues for transplantation as well as tissue models for drug testing. 3D bioprinting is in the forefront of innovative research and biomanufacturing. With the ability to utilize a patient’s own cells and medical images to reconstruct patient-specific tissues and organs, bioprinting will revolutionize the future of medicine. However, the selection of available bioinks – bioprintable formulations of living cells without or supported with hydrogels – is extremely limited. Currently used bioinks offer limited control over bioactivity, degradation and stiffness, which are required to control cellular behavior (proliferation, migration, and differentiation). Moreover, many biological processes (tissue development and disease) are dynamic in nature, yet the majority of bioprinted constructs offer static properties. Bioinks which facilitate spatiotemporal control of extracellular matrix properties are much needed to advance bioprinted tissues into clinic. Thus, the main focus in my laboratory is to design “cell-instructive” biomaterials – that will “tell cells what to do”. Considering the main focus of my research, I established the “Instructive Biomaterials and Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (IBAM-Lab)”. The overall research activities in the IBAM-Lab are summarized in the Figure above.


The research goals of IBAM-Lab include:

(i) develop novel biomaterials, including biodegradable polymers and hydrogels, with tunable mechanics, degradation, and bioactivity, mainly to control stem cell differentiation;

(ii) design, formulate and characterize printable ink formulations for extrusion based 3D printing, including biomaterial printing and 3D bioprinting;

(iii) 3D bioprinting of living tissues and organs as well as medical devices (current focus on bone, cartilage and osteochondral interface);

(iv) fabricating in vitro disease models for fundamental studies and drug screening (current focus on liver, breast cancer and cardiac models).


Additionally, we are interested in additive manufacturing of advanced functional materials, which involves:

(i) 4D printing of surface-morphing hydrogels (for sensors and optical devices);

(ii) developing highly filled inks (slurries) for direct ink writing 3D printing (e.g., reactive devices, devices for extreme environments, medical devices, and drug delivery devices);

(iii) developing materials-based strategies to enhance interlayer adhesion in 3D printed structures.


Ongoing Projects:


- Cell-instuctive smart bioinks to fabricate complex tissue interfaces

Funding: NSF CAREER  DMR-2044479 (2021-2026)


- Decellulerized extracellular matrix bioinks for musculoskelatal tissue engineering

Funding: MTF Biologics (MTF Junior Investigator Award, 2019-2021)


- New biodegradable polymeric biomaterial inks for tissue engineering applications

Funding: NSF DMR-1714882 (2016-2020)


Collaborator (Cellulose-based bioinks): Prof. William Gramlich (University of Maine, Orono, ME)



- In vitro tissue and disease models

We are developing biomaterial platforms with user defined and tunable properties (topography, stiffness, and bioactivity) that could serve as in vitro tissue and/or disease models. These tissue models could help us to better understand tissue development, ageing, disease development and disease progression as well as drug screening. We are currently interested in heart and liver models as well as cancer models. Our expertise is to develop these models. We develop strong collaborations to utilize our models.

Funding: NJ Healthcare Foundation




Liver tissue models - Prof. Rebecca G. Wells (Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA)

Heart models - Prof. Eun Lee (BME at NJIT, Newark, NJ)

Cancer models - Prof. Pranela Rameshwar (Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ)



- Additively manufactured reactive materials

Funding: DOD

Collaborator: Prof. Ed Dreizin (NJIT)


- 4D printing of surface morphing hydrogels


- Investigating interlayer adhesion of 3D printed high performance plastics





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