Personalized Biomaterials


  • New and Improved Bioink to Enhance 3D Bioprinted Skeletal Muscle Constructs

    (LOS ANGELES) – August 25, 2023 -An advancement in 3D bioprinting of native-like skeletal muscle tissues has been made by scientists at the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI).

  • Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation Welcomes Director of Precision Medicine

    (LOS ANGELES) – September 22, 2023 - The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI) welcomes Zhaohui Wang, Ph.D., as its new Assistant Professor and Director of Precision Medicine. His main research focus is on discovering innovative bioengineering solutions to combat cancer.

  • Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation Awarded $2.2 Million NIH Grant to Develop Advanced Treatment for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

    (LOS ANGELES) – August 15, 2023 -A team of researchers from the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) has been awarded a multimillion-dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a superior, multi-pronged wound treatment for diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs).

  • Enhanced Tumor Modeling Using Laponite Bioinks for 3D Bioprinting

    (LOS ANGELES) Scientists from theTerasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI) have developed a nanoengineered bioink with improved bonding and cross-linking capabilities for 3D bioprinting of tumor models. A keycomponent of this bioink is Laponite, highly charged, disk-shaped, crystalline nanoparticles. As explained in their recent paper inBiofabrication,these nanoparticles were shown to enhance the biological signaling that occurs in the tumor microenvironment so that moreaccurate tumor models can be created for study and anti-tumor drug development. 

    Tumor microenvironments are complex, with a supportive, connective tissue matrix containing multiple cellular components such as tumor cells, immune cells, organ specific cells, and collagen-producing cancer-associated fibroblasts. In addition, there is extensive cell-to-cell physical interaction and interactive signaling via a variety of biological factors that are difficult to model in an accurate and representative manner. 

    The use of 3D bioprinting offers a versatile approach for creatingin vitrotumor models where precise 3D tissue structures can be created. To create an in vitro model, the printers use a cell laden biomaterial solution termed bioink custom made for the intended tissues. The bioinks in this study were comprised of cancer and normal cells from the tumor microenvironment, which were embedded in a biocompatible gel, typically a type of polymer. This cellular/gel mixture must be optimally formulated to exhibit mechanical and biofunctional properties that accurately recapitulate the tumor microenvironment. 

    In order to achieve these properties, the TIBI team chose gelatin methacyloyl (GelMA) as the polymer base for their bioink, a biocompatible material with tunable properties for structural stability and porosity, with binding sites conducive to cellular adhesion and survival. Adding Laponite to the GelMA not only created a reinforced network within the bioink, but also improved printability by conferring shear-thinning properties - the ability to deform under stress and then quickly self-recover. While using higher concentrations of GelMA and Laponite, the team was able to create bioinks with significantly improved shear-thinning properties. 

    In initial tests of their new composite as a biomaterial for the fabrication of a tumor model, the scientists made different GelMA/Laponite formulations and used them to encapsulate human pancreatic cancer cells. The formulations which gave optimum cell viability were identified and used in creating 3D bioprinted multicellular tumor models.  

    These multicellular models were made by adding fibroblasts, cells which are pivotal to pancreatic cancer tumor progression, to the GelMA/Laponite/pancreatic cell bioink. Tests of these models showed that the cells had good viability, particularly with higher Laponite concentrations. Furthermore, higher concentrations of Laponite were also observed to increase the size and distribution of co-aggregations of the two cell types; this more fully depicts the native pancreatic tumor structure and its promotion of cell-to-cell interactions. 

    The team went on to study the effects of Laponite on the gene expression of various biomarkers which are promoters or indicators of tumor progression in pancreatic cancer. They found that increased Laponite concentrations upregulated production of tumor cell growth factors, as well as remodeling and cell differentiation genes, by 10-20-fold. 

    The effect of Laponite on gene expression was even more pronounced on the fibroblasts, with overall upregulation of their gene pools, especially for genes related to growth factors, which were increased up to 60-fold. As fibroblasts play an important role in pancreatic tumor progression via signaling by these growth factors, this is a significant demonstration of Laponite’s influence. 

    The improved signaling between cancer cells and fibroblasts by released biological factors also increased the expression of genes that are related to the cell cycle – specifically, genes that indicate a decrease in the proliferation of cancer cells. The decrease in the proliferation of cancer cells is known as cancer dormancy, which is one of the factors affecting resistance to chemotherapy and cancer recurrence after treatment. 

    “Our study of the effects of Laponite on 3D printed tumor models has shown that not only does Laponite improve the mechanical characteristics of the model, but it can also selectively influence the biological signaling that are a part of tumor progression,” said Ali Khademhosseini, Ph.D., TIBI’s Director and CEO. “This gives us the versatility to re-create more accurate tumor models of different types so that targets for effective therapeutic drugs can be identified.”  

    Authors are: Natan Roberto de Barros, Alejandro Gomez, Menekse Ermis, Natashya Falcone, Reihaneh Haghniaz, Patric Young, Yaqi Gao, Albert-Fred Aquino, Siyuan Li, Siyi Niu, RunRun Chen, Shuyi Huang, Yangzhi Zhu, Payam Eliahoo, Arthur Sun, Danial Khorsandi, Jinjoo Kim Jonathan Kelber, Ali Khademhosseini, Han-Jun Kim, and Bingbing Li. 

    Funding provided by: The National Institutes of Health (HL140951, HL137193, CA257558, DK130566).This research is supported by the fundings of “Autonomy Research Center for STEAHM” sponsored through the U.S. NASA MUREP Institutional Research Opportunity (MIRO) program (80NSSC19M0200), “California Advanced Defense Ecosystem and National Consortia Effort (CADENCE)” sponsored through the U.S. DOD Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (DMCSP) program (MCS1292-20-01), and “Collaborative Research: Creating an Upper Division Additive Manufacturing Course and Laboratory for Enhancing Undergraduate Research and Innovation” sponsored through the U.S. NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program (1712391). This work is also supported by California State University Northridge College of Science and Mathematics; Sidney Stern Memorial Trust (to J.A.K.); Sutter family (to J.A.K); Aylozyan Family Foundation (to J.A.K.); and NIH NIGMS grant SC1GM121182 (to J.A.K.) 



  • Terasaki Institute Welcomes New Members to Leadership Board

    (LOS ANGELES) – TheTerasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI),is pleased towelcome six new members to its Leadership Board. The TIBI Leadership Board iscomprised of distinguishedindividuals who willutilize theirexpertise topromote key initiatives and toprovide valuable guidance on research and innovation strategies. 

  • All-in-One Device for Hemorrhage Control

    Scientists Develop Multifunctional Device Which Combines Hemorrhage Treatment and Monitoring Capabilities

    (LOS ANGELES) – June 28, 2023 - A multi-faceted device for effectively treating deep, non-compressible, and irregularly-shaped wounds has been engineered by the scientists at the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI). As outlined in their recent paper in Advanced Science, the device provides rapid hemorrhage management, has minimal inflammatory effects, and provides infection control. It also has tunable biodegradation rates, making it usable for both internal and external use, and features sensing capabilities for long-term hemorrhage monitoring. This versatile device is highly beneficial for timely alerts and control of bleeding from surgical wounds, traumatic injuries, and critical illnesses.

  • Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation Announces Cultivated Meat Spinout CompanyTerasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation Announces Cultivated Meat Spinout Company

    Company introduces unique approach to sustainably produced meat

     - The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI) is excited to unveil their first spinout company, Omeat, an organization dedicated to technology for the sustainable production of beef and other meats on a global scale. Omeat produces cultivated meat, using cost-effective, humane, and efficient methods to collect regenerative factors for cell cultivation from healthy, living cows.

  • Terasaki Institute Holds Grand Opening Celebration at New Research Center

    (WOODLAND HILLS, CA) – The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI), a non-profit research organization devoted to developing bioengineered systems, devices, and technology for biomedical applications, held a Grand Opening celebration at their newest research facility in Woodland Hills. The event drew almost 100 guests, which included local dignitaries, members of the Terasaki family, TIBI faculty and staff, and members of the building’s design and construction teams.

  • Antimicrobial Nanoparticles – Exploring a Green Solution for Environmental Purification

    (LOS ANGELES) -Scientists from theTerasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI)have chemically modified titanium dioxide nanoparticles torender them with antimicrobialpowers when exposed toboth darkness andvisible light. Thesecompositenanoparticles, studded with selected chemicals,demonstrated antibacterial and antifungaleffectiveness, while serving as models to elucidate the pathways by which these effects are achieved.Thisopens enticing possibilitiesfor green technologyapplications, such aswastewater treatment,air purification, or preservation of food. 

  • TIBI Director and CEO Ali Khademhosseini Receives Technology Innovation and Development Award from the Society for Biomaterials

    (LOS ANGELES) – Dr. Ali Khademhosseini has been awarded the 2023 Technology Innovation and Development Award from the Society of Biomaterials (SFB). The award honors those whose research, scientific innovations, and leadership are used to develop novel products or technologies to benefit patients.

  • Surgical Sealing Made Better with Robust Thermosensitive Bioadhesives

    Improvements made possible with strategic chemical modifications

    (LOS ANGELES) – As part of a collaborative effort, scientists from the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI) have employed inventive chemistry to produce an injectable biomaterial with significantly improved adhesive strength, stretchability, and toughness. This chemically modified, gelatin-based hydrogel had attractive features, including rapid gelation at room temperature and tunable levels of adhesion. This custom-engineered biomaterial is ideal as a surgical wound sealant, with its controllable adhesion and injectability and its superior adherence to a variety of tissue and organ surfaces.

  • Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Model for Developing Personalized Therapies

    (LOS ANGELES) – Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), is highly aggressive and lethal. It is the most prevalent type of pancreatic cancer, making up 90% of cases; it also has a high rate of metastasis, with an average five-year survival rate of less than 10%.

  • Rapid, Temperature-Sensitive Hemorrhage Control for Traumatic Wounds

    (LOS ANGELES) – As outlined in their recent publication in Biomaterials Science,researchers from the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation, (TIBI), have developed an injectable, temperature sensitive, shear-thinning hydrogel (T-STH) hemostat that works rapidly at body temperature to stop bleeding from a wound. This technology allows anyone to treat victims of traumatic injuries immediately and effectively. Once patient stability is achieved, the T-STH hemostat can easily be removed using a cold saline wash without leaving residues or causing re-bleeding of the wound. The saline wash also allows for removal of any debris lodged into the wound.

  • Better Transplants for Better Joints: A Closer Look at Micromechanical Mismatch Influences in Cartilage Regeneration

    (LOS ANGELES) – A collaborative team, which includes scientists from the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI), University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), and Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) has elucidated some key points on how the generation of cartilage in the joints is facilitated and how alternative bone formation can be avoided. Their findings could pave the way for designing more strategically engineered transplants for a less costly, more effective means of treating cartilage damage in the joints than current methods.

  • Microchannel-Containing Nanofiber Aerogels with Small Protein Molecule Enable Accelerated Diabetic Wound Healing

    November 21, 2022

    (LOS ANGELES) – A collaborative team of scientists from the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation and the University of Nebraska Medical Center has developed a fibrous aerogel that promotes faster and more effective healing of diabetic wounds. As detailed in their publication in Advanced Functional Materials, the micro/macrochannels engineered within the aerogel facilitate the ability to heal chronic diabetic wounds, while a novel protein incorporated into the aerogel provides anti-microbial capabilities and promotes wound tissue coverage and new blood vessel formation.

  • Treating Aneurysms with Injectable Toothpaste-Like Biomaterials

    Aneurysms are weaknesses in the venous walls that require immediate attention, as they can result in the ballooning and bursting of the blood vessels.

    September 20, 2022

    - These critical medical conditions are often treated using catheter-delivered blocking agents. The blocking agents are delivered into the vessels to stop blood flow in the affected area until the vessel wall can heal. The blocking material can then be removed or allowed to degrade naturally.

  • Tissue Bioprinting for Biology and Medicine

    August 10, 2022

    – In a recent paper published in Cell, TIBI scientist Mohsen Akbari, Ph.D., reviews the most recent breakthroughs and innovations in tissue bioprinting. He also presents its various applications, the remaining challenges and outlook for the future.

    Read More

  • Antiviral Materials Inspired by Rose Thorns

    Fibrous material may be used as antiviral agent in garments, face coverings and bandages

    December 16, 2021

    (LOS ANGELES) – Billions of people around the world suffer from herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections; the severity of these infections range from no symptoms at all to fatal complications. There are two types of herpes viruses: HSV-1, which infects the eyes and oral cavity, and HSV-2, which infects the genitalia.

    Current treatments include antiviral drugs which are either injected or applied topically as ointments; these drugs interfere with virus replication to keep their population in check. Other treatments are available such as vaccines, which stimulate antiviral immune responses, or immune response-modifying drugs.