Welcome to the Biohybrid Materials Lab in Rayen School of Engineering at Youngstown State University. We develop different material systems ranging from biohybrid living therapeutics, functional hydrogels for controlled drug delivery, and flexible bioelectronics. We are interested in fundamental studies of the use of biohybrid and functional materials for biomedical applications. Our research goal is to develop advanced material systems that allow us to better understand and regulate interfacial and transport phenomena related to human health. To achieve this goal, we focus on synthesis, characterization, and fabricating “biohybrid” materials with desired property, structure, and functionality. We integrate abiotic materials (e.g., biopolymers) with living biotic component (e.g., cells) by using surface chemistry and cell and microbiology tools and, in turn, create new biohybrid materials that have not been explored to date. We are also utilizing the resulting material systems for a series of applications: targeted drug delivery, cancer treatments, bacterial infection diseases, and wearable bioelectronics for healthcare monitoring.

Engineered biohybrid therapeutics

Various drug delivery systems for the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents including micro/nanoparticles have been designed and widely evaluated both in animal models and clinical trials. The advancement of nanotechnology has made nanoparticles a promising candidate for controlled active target delivery systems. We focus on developing bacterial microrobots that are biomanufactured by the integration of bacteria with abiotic systems leading to advanced levels of functionalization. We also use engineering approaches with synthetic biology to develop a novel engineered biohybrid therapeutics (EBT).

Redox-responsive hydrogels

The electrochemically reversible redox couple has attracted considerable attention, and a major application is dynamic redox switching of drug delivery systems. Due to the accompanying hydrophobic/hydrophilic, neutral/cationic and complexation/dissociation transitions, the on-demand release of loaded drugs can be achieved in response to external redox stimuli. Our approach is based on the synthesis of organometallic compound containing hydrogel. We study on the transition in oxidation state in the hydrogel can induce change of their properties like hydrophilicity.

Wearable bioelectronics 

Our research is focused on overcoming the limits of conventional biosensing devices. We exploit science and engineering approaches to improve the application of biosensors. We aim to develop ultimate electroanalytical wearable biosensors that improve the analytical performance of biomedical devices, intimately integrate with living systems, and thus provide new strategies to understand human physiology for point-of-care diagnostics and smart wound dressings. We develop flexible and wearable electrodes produced by direct laser writing and label free impedimetric biosensor for detection of biomarkers.