Skip to content


The MBM Lab utilizes fundamental advances in polymer chemistry to provide biomaterials that could improve healing outcomes.

Our research spans polymer synthesis, 3D scaffold fabrication, materials characterization, cell/material interactions, bacteria/material interactions, and in vivo characterization of biomaterials.

Our research focuses on shape memory polymers (SMPs).

These ‘smart’ materials can be deformed and stored in a temporary shape. Upon application of a stimulus (e.g. heating to body temperature, exposure to water), the materials rapidly return to their original shape.

Specific applications of SMPs in the MBM Lab include:

SMP Foams for Hemorrhage Control

  • ~1.5 million deaths each year
  • 30-50% of deaths occur prior to reaching the hospital.

Urgent clinical need for effective hemostatic dressings.

Current Research Areas

Applied: Development of in vitro and in vivo models for hemorrhage to characterize SMP foam delivery and efficacy

Chemical: Modification of SMP foams with new functional groups to enhance clinical outcomes, such as degradation rate and hemostatic efficacy

Biological: Incorporation of antimicrobial and antioxidant groups into SMP foams to reduce infection risks and improve healing outcomes; Characterization of blood/material interactions

SMP Hydrogels for Crohn’s Fistula Closure

  • 35% of Crohn’s patients develop fistulas between digestive, urinary, and/or reproductive systems
  • 20-40% of fistula patients ultimately require bowel restriction surgery

Clinical need for improved, non-surgical fistula closure options.

Current Research Areas

Chemical: Synthesis of starch-based SMP hydrogels that degrade in response to enzymes released by colon epithelial cells.

Scaffold Fabrication: Porogen-templated hydrogel foams with tunable pore sizes.

Biological: Incorporation of antimicrobial and antioxidant groups into SMP hydrogel backbone to reduce infection risks and improve healing outcomes. Characterization of cell interactions with SMP hydrogels.

Bacteria-Responsive SMP Bandages for Wound Infections

  • ~50% of diabetic ulcer patients with a limb threatening infection do not show systemic infection symptoms
  • Infection is responsible for over half of burn injury deaths

Urgent clinical need for improved wound infection prevention, surveillance, and treatment

Current Research Areas

Chemical: Synthesis of SMPs that change shape in the presence of bacteria

Scaffold Fabrication: Electrospinning SMP fibers to control shape change

Biological: Characterization of cell and bacterial interactions