Professor and Associate Chair
Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program

PhD - University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (2001)
Postdoctoral Fellow - Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany (2001-2002)
Postdoctoral Fellow - McMaster University, Canada (2002-2003)

Dr. Mequanint's ongoing research program involves tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In order to achieve successful regeneration of damaged tissues based on tissue engineering strategies, we are interested in designing natural and new generation synthetic biodegradable biomaterials with controlled biomechanical and structural details. These biomaterials will be imprinted with biological signaling molecules for fabricating tissue-engineered constructs. The biomaterials of interest by the group are biodegradable polymers derived from α-amino acids, physically-crosslinked hydrogels, organic-inorganic hybrids, and polyurethanes.

In tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies, cell responses to materials differ widely and, cellular events are often governed by both the chemistry and the topography of these materials. Mequanint's group is interested in deciphering signaling events modulated by three-dimensional scaffolds. In view of this, topography-induced targeted gene analyses - focusing on understanding the interactions between cells and scaffolds that modulate cellular functions such as adhesion, migration, proliferation, differentiation and extracellular matrix remodeling - are our ongoing activity.

The inability to deliver sufficient oxygen constitutes an important engineering challenge for growing cells at high density. The group is actively exploring novel strategies towards addressing oxygen transport limitations.

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Keywords: Tissue engineering; 3D scaffold fabrication; cell-material interaction and signaling; polyurethanes; bioreactor; extracellular matrix proteins, mass transfer.


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Contact Info

Western Engineering

Thompson Engineering Building,
Room number 439
Telephone: 519-661-2111 Ext. 88573
Fax: 519-661-3498