Roger Dale Kamm
Roger D. Kamm, Ph.D.
Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor
Dept. of Biological Engineering;
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA


A primary objective of Kamm's research has been the application of fundamentals in fluid and solid mechanics to better understand essential biological and physiological phenomena. Past studies have addressed issues in the respiratory, ocular and cardiovascular systems. More recently, his attention has focused on the molecular mechanisms of cellular force sensation, cell population dynamics, and the development of new microfluidic platforms for the study of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, especially in the context of metastatic cancer. This cumulative work has led to over 290 refereed publications. Recognition for his contributions is reflected in Kamm's election as Fellow to AIMBE, ASME, BMES, AAAS and the IFMBE. He is also the 2010 recipient of the ASME Lissner Medal and the 2015 recipient of the Huiskes Medal, both for lifetime achievements, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.


Engineered Microvascular Beds in Microfluidic Platforms for Tissue Engineering or Disease Models

It has been long recognized that vascularization is critical to the function of most tissues, yet developing a perfusable microvascular network within an on-chip tissue model has proved challenging. Several approaches have been developed over the years including the casting of networks within a hydrogel matrix that can subsequently be lined with vascular cells [Miller, Nat Mater, 2012], and the growth of networks from cells seeded either on the side of the gel by angiogenesis [Vickerman, Lab Chip, 2008, Chung, Lab Chip, 2009], or from cells uniformly suspended in gel by a process more akin to vasculogenesis [Kim, Lab Chip, 2013; Moya, Tiss Engrg Pt C, 2013; Whisler, Tiss Engrg Pt C, 2014]. The vasculogenesis approach has proven to be highly effective in producing networks within microfluidic platforms that can be perfused within several days of seeding. These networks can be grown in various hydrogels, and either with endothelial cells in co-culture with other cell types or in isolation. To date, the best results have been obtained by co-culture with lung fibroblasts in separate chambers, using a fibrin-based extracellular matrix [Kim, Lab Chip, 2013; Chen, Nat Prot, 2017].  Recently, these systems have been scaled up to mm-sized regions and the fibroblasts have been co-seeded with the endothelial cells, leading to vascularized and perfusable networks with potential applications for in vitro organ-on-chip systems.  These new results open the opportunity to produce a new generation of tissue models for drug screening that incorporate not only the organ or tissue specific cells (Jeon, PNAS, 2014), but also the perfusion necessary to maintain these cells  long-term.  

Miller JS, Stevens KR, Yang MT, Baker BM, Nguyen DH, Cohen DM, Toro E, Chen AA, Galie PA, Yu X, Chaturvedi R, Bhatia SN, Chen CS. Rapid casting of patterned vascular networks for perfusable engineered three-dimensional tissues. Nat Mater. 11(9):768-74 (2012).

Moya, M.L., Hsu, Y.H., Lee, A.P., Hughes, C.C. & George, S.C. In vitro perfused human capillary networks. Tissue Eng. Part C Methods 19, 730–737 (2013).

Chen, M.B., Whisler, J.A., Jeon, J.S. & Kamm, R.D. Mechanisms of tumor cell extravasation in an in vitro microvascular network platform. Integr. Biol. (Camb) 5, 1262–1271(2013).

Kim S, Lee H, Chung M, Jeon NL. Engineering of functional, perfusable 3D microvascular networks on a chip. Lab Chip 13(8), 1489-500 (2013).

Vickerman V, Blundo J, Chung S, Kamm RD. Design, fabrication and implementation of a novel multi-parameter control microfluidic platform for three-dimensional cell culture and real-time imaging. Lab Chip 8, 1468-1477 (2008).

Chung S, Sudo S, Mack PJ, Wan C-R, Vickerman V, Kamm RD. Cell migration into scaffold under co-culture conditions in a microfluidic platform. Lab Chip, 9(2) 269-75 (2009).

Whisler JA, Chen MB, Kamm RD. Control of Perfusable Microvascular Network Morphology Using a Multiculture Microfluidic System. Tissue Eng Part C Methods 20(7), 543-52 (2014).

Jeon, Jessie S; Bersini, Simone; Gilardi, Mara; Dubini, Gabriele; Charest, Joseph L; Moretti, Matteo; Kamm, Roger D; Human 3D vascularized organotypic microfluidic assays to study breast cancer cell extravasation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, pp. 201417115 (2014).

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