Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Illinois

Hyunjoon Kong Research

Bioinspired Materials, Stem Cell Niches, Tissue Engineering

Kong Research Group

Hyunjoon (Joon) Kong - professor, chemical and bimolecular engineering

The overall goal of our lab is to develop advanced material systems for fundamental and applied biosciences. Specially, we focus on tailoring nano- and micro-structures of materials inspired by nature via simple but novel methods and further modulating their chemical and physical properties for multiple applications including drug delivery, diagnosis/bioimaging, 3D cell culture and therapies, and tissue repair and regeneration.

So far, our research projects can be divided into the following.

Bioactive Hydrogels for Cell Therapies, Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering

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By tailoring dependencies between chemical, mechanical and transport properties of bioactive hydrogels, we demonstrated the capability of materials to modulating 3D cell culture, drug delivery, revascularization therapies, and tissue engineering.

Self-Assembly of Multifunctional Nano- and Microparticles for Diagnostic Imaging and Drug Delivery

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By tuning the chemical structure or constructive properties of polymeric and lipidic nano- or microparticles, we were able to enhance the circulation stability and targeting efficiency of the particles and further apply them to diagnostic MR imaging and treatments of cardiovascular diseases.

Nanomaterials for Targeted Stem Cell Delivery

kong4_0We also demonstrated that bioactive hyperbranched polyglycerol that can associate with stem cell membrane and further deliver them to target inflammatory tissue. The delivery mechanism was inspired by Leukocyte recruitment.

Stem/Cancer Cell Clusters

kong5_0We also assemble stem/cancer cell clusters to understand emergent cell behavior towards tissue development and pathogenesis.