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SQI: Simpson Querry Institute

Stupp inducted into AIMBE college of fellows

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has honored Samuel Stupp for his leading role in developing functional materials using supramolecular chemistry. Stupp has created a large family of molecules known as peptide amphiphiles, that self-assemble into nanofibers that can mimic extracellular matrices and display very high concentrations of biological signals.

Major achievements associated with this platform include the regeneration of spinal cord axons after injury, the unprecedented selective and rapid differentiation of neural stem cells into neurons, angiogenesis in muscle with bioactive signals leading to reperfusion of the ischemic hind limb, and functional improvement of heart muscle after myocardial infarction. The body of work also includes bone spinal fusion with a low dose of growth factors and formation of enamel in embryonic incisor teeth. Materials for bone regeneration are currently in development for clinical trials. Composed of only amino acids and fatty acids, these materials are broken down in vivo into highly biocompatible components. Alternatively, bioactivity can also be introduced into the nanostructures, including functionalization small molecule drugs, organometallic complexes for imaging with MRI, and fluorophores for detection in tissues.

Stupp has also demonstrated the possibility of creating materials in which the bioactive filaments can be integrated with cells and organized over macroscopic distances, mimicking the organization of tissues such as the brain, the spinal cord, skeletal muscle, and the heart. Stupp's work on bioactive soft matter has inspired academic as well as industrial development of conceptually similar materials for regenerative medicine.

Stupp will be elected to fellow status on April 4, 2016, as part of AIMBE's 25th Annual Meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Great Hall in Washington, D.C. In total, 155 scientists will make up the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2016.