ONE Lab Research Interests

  • Low Back Pain and Osteoarthritis
  • Biomaterials – hydrogels, microparticles, drug delivery systems
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Neural Engineering
  • Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatories

Current Projects

The ONE Lab is interested in identifying targets implicated in orthopedic disease and pain, and developing innovative biomaterials and drug delivery systems to address these targets. One current focus of our lab is on disc degeneration and low back pain.  Our current research seeks treat low back pain using the following two approaches:

1) Early intervention to regenerate the disc using decellularized porcine tissue to modulate the immune system and help rejuvenate cells

Current work on this project is focused on 1) optimizing novel decellularization methods for porcine nucleus pulposus to maintain essential ECM proteins and factors, while gently removing antigens, 2) developing injectable formulations of decellularized tissue, and 3) determining the ability of decellularized tissue to modulate the immune response and drive cell fate.
Decell Process
Caption: Schematic illustration of  creation of an injectable thermally geling matrix from disc dissection to isolation, decellularization, digestion, and neutralization.

2) Later stage intervention to enable painless degeneration of the disc by delivery of neuromodulatory molecules to prevent nerve growth and sensitization

This project is currently focused on developing in vitro test beds to mimic the aberrant sensory nerve growth and sensitization that is present in disc degeneration and orthopedic pain. These test beds are currently being utilized to screen for neuromodulatory biomaterials.

DRG with and without neuro-inhibition.
 Caption: Immunofluorescence imaging of primary rat dorsal root ganglia growing without (a) and with (b) neuro-inhibitors present.  These hydrogel combinations are the base for our in vitro test beds of aberrant sensory nerve growth.