Guillermo A. Ameer Bioartificial organ systems, cell delivery & transplantation, tissue engineering

Research Interests

Our research interests include two areas: biotechnology and tissue engineering. In the first area, molecular cloning techniques, surface modification, and engineering principles are being used to design and develop devices that can neutralize the activity of macromolecules in the blood that are implicated in pathologic conditions or deleterious side effects. For example, the specific removal of beta-2-microglobulin from blood is part of an effort to control the concentration of proteins implicated in the formation and stabilization of amyloid deposits that are present in patients with end-stage renal disease. The tissue engineering efforts currently include cardiovascular and orthopaedic applications. In the cardiovascular arena, we are interested in designing and evaluating biodegradable materials that would be conducive to the formation of small-diameter blood vessels and heart valves. Specifically, we want to understand how the mechanical properties of the biomaterial influence cell signaling and tissue growth.

In the orthopaedic arena, we are addressing problems associated with knee injuries, specifically injuries to the meniscus and ligaments. The meniscus is a cartilaginous structure located in the knee and meniscal as well as ligament tears are a common occurrence during sports activities. A truncated or impaired meniscus or ligament can lead to joint malfunction and to osteoarthritis. Tissue engineering, controlled drug delivery, and gene-expression profiling are some of the tools that are being used to investigate novel ways to promote wound healing within the avascular zone of the meniscus. In the case of chronic degeneration of this tissue, cell/biomaterial interactions are studied with the goal of creating a bioartificial meniscus that could potentially be used for transplantations. Our efforts to engineer a ligament focus on understanding how the microarchitecture and mechanical properties of a biomaterial will influence cell signaling and the resulting tissue. We are also developing novel experimental approaches to non-invasively and quantitatively assess the development engineered tissues in real time (in collaboration with Professor Vadim Backman).

Selected Publications

Structural behavior of competitive temperature and pH-responsive tethered polymer layers. Morochnik S, Nap RJ, Ameer GA, and Szleifer I. Soft Matter. 2017 October 7;13(37):6322-6331.

Neural EGF-like protein 1 (NELL-1): Signaling crosstalk in mesenchymal stem cells and applications in regenerative medicine. Pakvasa M, Alverdy A, Mostafa S, Wang E, Fu L, Li A, Oliveira L, Athiviraham A, Lee MJ, Wolf JM, He T-C, Ameer GA, and Reid RR. Genes & Diseases. 2017 September;4(3):127-137.

Repair of critical sized cranial defects with BMP9-transduced calvarial cells delivered in a thermoresponsive scaffold. Dumanian ZP, Tollemar V, Ye J, Lu M, Zhu Y, Liao J, Ameer GA, He T-C, and Reid RR. PLoS ONE. 2017 March 1;12(3):e0172327.

A thermoresponsive polydiolcitrate-gelatin scaffold and delivery system mediates effective bone formation from BMP9-transduced mesenchymal stem cells. Ye J, Wang J, Zhu Y, Wei Q, Wang X, Yang J, Tang S, Liu H, Fan J, Zhang F, Farina EM, Mohammed MK, Zou Y, Song D, Liao J, Huang J, Guo D, Lu M, Liu F, Liu J, Li L, Ma C, Hu X, Haydon RC, Lee MJ, Reid RR, Ameer GA, Yang L, and He T-C. Biomedical Materials. 2016 April;11(2):025021.

SIRT1 Overexpression Maintains Cell Phenotype and Function of Endothelial Cells Derived from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Jiang B, Jen M, Perrin L, Wertheim JA, and Ameer GA. Stem Cells and Development. 2015 December 1;24(23):2740-2745.

Cotransplantation with specific populations of spina bifida bone marrow stem/progenitor cells enhances urinary bladder regeneration. Sharma AK, Bury MI, Fuller NJ, Marks AJ, Kollhoff DM, Rao MV, Hota PV, Matoka DJ, Edassery SL, Thaker H, Sarwark JF, Janicki JA, Ameer GA, and Cheng EY. PNAS. 2013 March 5;110(10):4003-4008.

View all publications by Guillermo Ameer listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed).