Current Research and Scholarly Interests
My research at Ruiz-Lozano's Lab is focused on the micromechanisms involved in cardiac remodeling/regeneration following severe heart injuries, particularly, post myocardial infarction (MI). By employing engineered 3D collagen scaffolds, we aim to develop cardiac patches associated with specific targeting characteristics in order to efficiently interfere with cardiac remodeling phenomena after MI. Various cell types, growth factors, functionalized nanoparticles, and specific-targeting peptides are seeded within the patches. Subsequently, the patch will be grafted onto the damaged heart tissue and cardiac function, remodeling, and regeneration are studied for up to 7 weeks post injury. Furthermore, by regulating the micromechanical properties of the 3D matrix (patch), we try to improve the patch-native tissue integration as well as the electromechanical coupling.