Injectable Biomaterial Platforms for Treating Cardiovascular Disease

Friday, October 21, 2016 -
2:00am to 3:00am
FUNG Auditorium, Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall
Karen L. Christman, PhD, FAHA

Professor of Bioengineering

Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine

University of California, San Diego

Injectable Biomaterial Platforms for Treating Cardiovascular Disease


Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the western world.  Two major types of cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction and peripheral artery disease, have few available treatments and therefore numerous patients continue to decline towards heart failure for the former and amputation for the latter.  Current clinical trials have focused on cell therapies; however it is thought that these cells act via paracrine mechanisms to recruit endogenous cells to help repair and regenerate the tissue.  In animal models, it has been established that cellular recruitment to the damaged tissue can also occur via implantation of biomaterial scaffolds.  Injectable materials are particularly attractive since they have the potential to be delivered minimally invasively, thereby requiring less recovery time and reducing the chances of infection. This talk will cover recent developments and translational progress with the use of injectable biomaterials for treating cardiovascular disease.




Dr. Christman received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2000 and her Ph.D. from the University of California San Francisco and Berkeley Joint Bioengineering Graduate Group in 2003, where she examined in situ approaches to myocardial tissue engineering.  She was also a NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles in the fields of polymer chemistry and nanotechnology.  Dr. Christman joined the Department of Bioengineering in 2007 and is a member of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.  Her lab, which is housed in the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, focuses on developing novel biomaterials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications, and has a strong translational focus with the main goal of developing minimally invasive therapies for cardiovascular disease.  Dr. Christman is a fellow of the American Heart Association and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and has received several awards including the NIH Director’s New Innovator and Transformative Research Awards, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Early Career Translational Research Award, the American Heart Association Western States Innovative Sciences Award, and the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society’s Young Investigator Award.  Dr. Christman is also co-founder of Ventrix, Inc., which is in clinical trials with the cardiac extracellular matrix hydrogel technology developed in her lab at UCSD.