Electrically Responsive Scaffolds
Current Piezoelectric polymers and their composites have shown unique opportunities as cell culture systems and regenerative scaffolds, providing pacing electrical outputs in response to mechanical loading to which can modulate cell function In addition, the electromechanical outputs of these materials can be improved through the incorporation of piezoelectric nanofibers to create unique electromechanical medical devices.
Piezoelectric Scaffolds for Cardiac regeneration
Current research at the Biggs lab is focused on applying nanofabrication techniques to novel classes of electrically active and responsive ‘smart’ materials. Dr Biggs’ laboratory is focused on the development of tuneable, bioactive biomaterials for cardiac regeneration. Tissue engineering of functional cardiac tissues (i.e. cardiac patches) in vitro remains a significant biomedical challenge due to incomplete interconnectivity, phenotypic drift and loss of an appropriate cardiomyocyte behaviour, marked by loss of spontaneous depolarization and contraction. Subsequently, some of the key requirements that need to be met for generating functional cardiac patches in vitro include the establishment of a cardiac tissue matrix, robust and stable contractile function, functional vascularization and electromechanical cell coupling.