Indian American Team from Harvard develops novel gel for biomedical research

Photo Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

New York (TIP): Indian American researchers at the Harvard University have developed a biocompatible hydrogel that can speed up research and development of several promising applications in tissue engineering by using “Click Chemistry”.

Wyss Core Faculty member Neel Joshi, Ph.D., has developed a novel, truly biocompatible alginate hydrogel in collaboration with Mooney that can be synthesized using “click chemistry”, which is a methodology for the quick and practical synthesis of substances using just a few reliable, chemoselective reagents.

Indian American Joshi, who is also Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at SEAS, leads a team at the Wyss Institute developing new synthetic biomaterials that mimic naturally–occurring materials. Joshi and Mooney’s new “click alginate” has been reported in the May 1 issue of Biomaterials.

“It’s injectable, so it can be used to deliver cells or drugs to specific places in the body such as a location that has suffered a wound or has been invaded by a tumor,” said Joshi.

“And we are already using it for lots of different things in the laboratory due to how easy it is to synthesize.”  Joshi leads a team at the Wyss Institute developing new synthetic biomaterials that mimic naturally-occurring materials.  “It’s a great material for studying how cells sense the mechanical environments around them,” said Desai.

“Alginate hydrogels show promise for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications as they can be designed to dissolve away harmlessly in the body while releasing drugs, growth agents or living cells that can accelerate healing and regeneration,” said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University ( uses Nature’s design principles to develop bioinspired materials and devices that will transform medicine and create a more sustainable world.

(Based on a Press Release)

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