Cockrell School of Engineering

The University of Texas at Austin

Laura Suggs

Photo of Suggs, Laura

Associate Professor

Temple Foundation Endowed Teaching Fellow in Engineering No. 1

Research Area:
Cellular and Biomolecular Engineering

Phone: (512) 232-1671
Office: BME 4.202K

Related Websites

Research Focus

Cardiovascular tissue engineering, extracellular matrix analogs, adult progenitor cells, vasculogenesis

Research Interests

Our lab is primarily interested in the development of biologically active materials and their use and behavior in cardiovascular tissue engineering. It is important to understand molecular and cellular mechanisms during processes such as vasculogenesis as well as the structure of both natural and synthetic polymers and their effect on living tissues. With this fundamental knowledge base, biomaterials can be designed to mimic naturally occurring structures found in the supporting extracellular matrix.

Researchers have described methods to isolate adult progenitor cells from bone marrow and differentiate them into various vascular cell types. We are developing structural entities which allow for three-dimensional organization and directed differentiation of progenitor cell types. The end goal is to be able to grow vascular beds de novo for applications such as prevascularization of tissue engineered constructs or revascularizing ischemic myocardium.

We utilize a number of techniques including polymer synthesis and characterization using traditional wet chemistry techniques as well as various biochemical analysis techniques. We culture bone marrow stem cells and evaluate differentiated phenotype and function using immunohistochemistry and PCR. Our lab is also working on developing in vitro models of vascularization based on coronary vessel development during embryogenesis.

Selected Publications

  • J. Rytlewski, L. Geuss, C. Anyaeji, L.J. Suggs. Three-dimensional image quantification as a new morphometry method for microvascular tissue engineering. Tissue Engr Part C, 2012. In Press.
  • L.M. Ricles, S.Y. Nam, K. Sokolov, S.Y. Emelianov, L.J.Suggs, Function of mesenchymal stem cells following loading of gold nanotracers. Int J. Medicine, 2011, 6:407–416.
  • L.J. Suggs and A.G. Mikos, Synthetic Biodegradable Polymers for Medical Applications, in Physical Properties of Polymers Handbook, J.E. Mark, Ed., American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, 1996, pp. 615-624.
  • L.J. Suggs, R.G. Payne, M.J. Yaszemski, L.B. Alemany, and A.G. Mikos, Synthesis and Characterization of a Block Copolymer Consisting of Poly(Propylene Fumarate) and Poly(Ethylene Glycol), Macromolecules, 30, 4318-4323, 1997.
  • S.J. Peter, M.J. Yaszemski, L.J. Suggs, R.G. Payne, R. Langer, W.C. Hayes, M.R. Unroe, L.B. Alemany, P.S. Engel, and A.G. Mikos, Characterization of Partially Saturated Poly(Propylene Fumarate) for Orthopaedic Application, J. Biomater. Sci., Polym. Ed., 8, 893-904, 1997.
  • L.J. Suggs, E.Y. Kao, L.L. Palombo, R.S. Krishnan, M.S. Widmer, and A.G. Mikos, Preparation and Characterization of Poly(Propylene Fumarate-co-Ethylene Glycol) Hydrogels, J. Biomater. Sci., Polym. Ed., 9, 653-666, 1998.
  • L.J. Suggs, R.S. Krishnan, C.A. Garcia, S.J. Peter, and A.G. Mikos, In Vitro and In Vivo Degradation of Poly(Propylene Fumarate-co-Ethylene Glycol) Hydrogels, J. Biomed. Mater. Res., 42, 312-320, 1998.
  • S.J. Peter, L.J. Suggs, M.J. Yaszemski, P.S. Engel, and A.G. Mikos, Synthesis of Poly(Propylene Fumarate) from an Acyl Chloride and a Diol in the Presence of a Carbonate Scavenger, J. Biomater. Sci., Polym. Ed., 10, 363-373, 1999.
  • L.J. Suggs, J.L. West, and A.G. Mikos, Platelet Adhesion on a Bioresorbable Poly(Propylene Fumarate-co-Ethylene Glycol) Copolymer, Biomaterials, 20, 683-690, 1999.
  • L.J. Suggs, M.S. Shive, C.A. Garcia, J.M. Anderson, and A.G. Mikos, In Vitro Cytotoxicity and In Vivo Biocompatibility of Poly(Propylene Fumarate-co-Ethylene Glycol) Hydrogels, J. Biomed. Mater. Res., 46, 22-32, 1999.
  • L.J. Suggs and A.G. Mikos, Development of Poly(Propylene Fumarate-co-Ethylene Glycol) as an Injectable Carrier for Endothelial Cells, Cell Transplantation, 8, 345-350, 1999.