Microphysiological Systems Lab

The MPS Lab is focused on the development of tissue engineering strategies for a variety of applications including:

  • • regeneration / replacement of dead or diseased tissues
  • • high throughput in vitro drug testing
  • • improved understanding of the structure and function of healthy and diseased tissues

Using cells, biological and synthetic materials, nutrients, and growth factors, the MPS lab synthesizes tissues in vitro.  Led Dr. Chris Heylman, this work draws on a wide range of disciplines including cell biology, polymer chemistry, materials science, mass transport, fluid mechanics, and microfabrication.

Current Projects

Colorectal Cancer Tumor Model

Colorectal Cancer Tumor Model

Establishing an in vitro three dimensional human colorectal tumor model and assessing model response to pharmaceutical compounds.

Microfluidic Devices for Tissue-on-a-chip Applications

Microfluidic Devices for Tissue-on-a-chip Applications

Design and development of microfluidic devices for use in tissue-on-a-chip applications. Includes device design, COMSOL simulation, mold and chip fabrication, and chip validation.

Injectable 3D Vessel Network

Injectable 3D Vessel Network

Developing an injectable solution of extracellular matrix proteins and human cells capable of forming a three dimensional network of blood vessels to support nutrient transport and waste removal within a tissue grown in vitro.

Want to get involved?

Interested in working with us to develop tissue-on-a-chip systems?  The MPS Lab is always looking for curious and motivated undergraduate students to join the lab.  To explore the lab and shadow current members please visit this MPS Lab Interest Site to learn more about different opportunities in the lab.

Kwee E, Saidel G, Powell K, Heylman CM, Boehm, C, Muschler, G. “Quantifying Proliferative and Surface Marker Heterogeneity in Colony Founding Connective Tissue Progenitors and Their Progeny Using Time‐Lapse Microscopy” Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, 2019 Feb; 13(2):203-216. 
Fong AH, Romero-Lopez M, Heylman CM, Keating M, Tran D, Sobrino A, Tran AQ, Pham HH, Fimbres C, Gershon PD, Botvinick EL, George SC, Hughes CCW. “Three-dimensional adult cardiac extracellular matrix promotes maturation of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes” Tissue Engineering Part A, 2016; 22(15-16):1016-1025. (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ten.tea.2016.0027)
Szymanska AF, Heylman CM, Datta R, Gratton E, Nenadic Z. “Automated detection and analysis of depolarization events in human cardiomyocytes using MaDEC” Computers in Biology and Medicine, 2016; 75:109-117. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010482516301287)
Datta R, Heylman CM, George SC, Gratton E. “Label-free imaging of metabolism and oxidative stress in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes” Biomedical Optics Express, 2016; 7(5):1690-1701.
Heylman CM, Datta R, Sobrino A, George SC, Gratton E. “Supervised machine learning for classification of the electrophysiological effects of chronotropic drugs on human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes” PLoS ONE, 2015; 10(12): e01445722015.
Heylman CM, Sobrino A, Shirure VS, Hughes CCW, and George SC. “A strategy for integrating essential 3D microphysiological systems of human organs for realistic anti-cancer drug screening” Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2014; 239(9):1240-54. (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1535370214525295)
Heylman CM, Santoso S, Krebs MD, Saidel GM, Alsberg E, Muschler GF. “Modeling and Experimental Methods to Predict Optimal Oxygen Distribution for Tissue Regeneration in Large Bone Defects” Medical and Biological Engineering & Computing, 2014; 52(4):321-30. (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11517-013-1133-7)
Heylman CM, Boehm CA, Caralla T, Patterson TE, Muschler GF. “Slowing the Onset of Hypoxia Increases Colony Forming Efficiency of Human Connective Tissue Progenitor Cells In Vitro” Journal of Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering, 2013; 2. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3872071/)

Please help support the MPS Lab with a one-time or recurring donation. Your donation directly supports the science and innovation of the MPS lab as well as the technical training and education of the next generation of scientists. Donations help fund supplies, equipment, and student travel to conferences.

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Current Lab Members

Lab Alumni