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Heather Megan Powell, PhD

Heather Megan Powell, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Phone: (614) 247-8673
Email: powell.299@osu.edu, 614-247-8673

Engineered tissues must reproduce the biological and mechanical function of their native counterparts if they are to provide health benefits to society. However, the current generation of engineered skin (ES) fails to match the mechanical properties of native skin, limiting its use in vivo. This is due, in part, to the static, non-physiological conditions used during synthesis. Using mechanical stimuli during tissue culture is known to improve function and strength in engineered tissues. However, this advance has not been fully realized in skin or other complex, hierarchical tissues with multiple cell lineages and extracellular environments. Our work focuses on utilizing novel mechanical-bioreactor technology in conjunction with materials processing techniques, computational modeling and biological tools to understand the role of scaffold mechanics, stress gradients and cell communication during mechanical stimulation of engineered skin.
Team Members
Britani Blackstone, Graduate Fellow,
Carol Lee, Graduate Fellow,
James Willard, Undergraduate Research Assistant 
Research Interests
Wound healing
Tissue engineering
Selected Publications
Blackstone, B.N., and H.M. Powell “Morphogenesis and Biomechanics of Engineered Skin Cultured Under Uniaxial Strain”, Advances in Wound Care (Accepted 2011).

Lee, C.H., Lim Y.C., Farson, D.F., Powell, H.M., Lannutti, J.J. “Vascular Wall Engineering via Femtosecond Laser Ablation: Scaffolds with Self-Contained Cell Populations” (Accepted Annals of Biomedical Engineering 2011)

Drexler, J.W., and H.M. Powell, “Regulation of Electrospun Scaffold Stiffness Via Coaxial Core Diameter”, Acta Biomaterialia 2011:7:1133–1139.

Ebersole, G.C., Anderson, P.M., and H.M. Powell, “Epidermal Differentiation Governs Engineered Skin Biomechanics”, Journal of Biomechanics 2010:43(16):3183-90.

Powell, H.M., K.L. McFarland, D.L. Butler, D.M. Supp and S.T. Boyce, “Uniaxial strain regulates gene expression, morphogenesis and tissue strength in engineered skin” Tissue Engineering A 2010:16(3):1083-92.

Powell, H.M and S.T. Boyce, “Engineered Human Skin Fabricated Using Electrospun Collagen-PCL Blends: Morphogenesis and Mechanical Properties” Tissue Engineering A 2009:15(8):2177-87.

Powell, H.M.,  D.M. Supp and S.T. Boyce, “Influence of electrospun collagen on wound contraction of engineered skin substitutes” Biomaterials, 2008:29(7):834-43.

Powell, H.M., Ayodeji O, Summerfield TL, Powell DM, Kniss DA, Tomasko DL, Lannutti JJ, “Chemotherapeutic implants via subcritical CO2 modification” Biomaterials, 2007:28(36):5562-9.

Powell, H.M. and S.T. Boyce “Wound Closure with EDC Cross-linked Skin Substitutes Grafted to Athymic Mice” Biomaterials 2007:28(6);1084-92.

Powell, H.M. and S.T. Boyce “EDC Crosslinking Improves Cultured Skin Substitute Strength and Stability” Biomaterials 2006:27(34):5821-7.