Antonios G. Mikos is the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University. He is the Director of the J.W. Cox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering at Rice University. He received his Dipl.Eng. (1983) from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and his Ph.D. (1988) in chemical engineering from Purdue University. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard Medical School before joining the Rice faculty in 1992 as an assistant professor.
Mikos' research focuses on the synthesis, processing, and evaluation of new biomaterials for use as scaffolds for tissue engineering, as carriers for controlled drug delivery, and as non-viral vectors for gene therapy. His work has led to the development of novel orthopaedic, dental, cardiovascular, neurologic, and ophthalmologic biomaterials. He is the author of over 500 publications and 25 patents. He is the editor of 15 books and the author of one textbook (Biomaterials: The Intersection of Biology and Materials Science, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008). Mikos is among the top 1 percent most cited researchers in his field. His work has been cited over 45,000 times and he has an h-index of 115.
Reconstruction of large mandibular defects following blast injury or the resection of advanced pathology is particularly challenging when both bone and soft tissue is missing. Current methods to address this problem include staged reconstruction techniques delaying hard tissue reconstruction until the soft tissue bed has been restored or the use of vascularized hard and soft tissue flaps. Donor site morbidity is significant with either approach and this concern forms the basis for a new method of regenerating bone with accompanying soft tissue.
This project leverages technology and expertise developed for a project initially funded by the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine II initiative. Using a different site in the flap recipient as an in vivo bioreactor, synthetic materials placed into chambers will be used to generate bone flaps of customizable dimensions. These flaps are allowed to vascularize before they are harvested and transferred to the recipient defect. The Osteo Science Foundation award will provide resources to study the osteogenic capabilities of different materials implanted into a validated large animal (sheep) model as well as characterize the niche environment surrounding the bone chamber by analyzing the cell population, gene expression and other tests for osteogenic activity. Additional mechanical and histomorphometric tests will determine the load-bearing characteristics of the construct as well as morphology.
While the project is focused on mandibular defects, the same strategy could be adopted for other challenging defects in the maxillofacial region.
A.M. Tatara, S.R. Shah, N. Demian, T. Ho, J. Shum, J.J.J.P. van den Beucken, J.A. Jansen, M.E. Wong, and A.G. Mikos, “Reconstruction of Large Mandibular Defects Using Autologous Tissues Generated From In Vivo Bioreactors,” Acta Biomaterialia, 45, 72-84 (2016). DOI:10.1016/j.actbio.2016.09.013 Read Abstract
AM Tatara, SR Shah, E Watson, BT Smith, N Demian, IA Hanna, JC Melville, J Shum, T Ho, JJ van den Beucken, JA Jansen, ME Wong, AG Mikos “Ovine Model For Generation of Tissue-Engineered Vascularized Bone of Large Volume and Custom Geometry” Tissue Engineering Part A (22). 2016, Dec; S155-156 Read Abstract
Alexander M. Tatara, Gerry L. Koons, Emma Watson, Trenton C.Piepergerdes, Sarita R. Shah, Brandon T. Smith, Jonathan Shum, James C.Melville, Issa A. Hanna, Nagi Demian, Tang Ho, Anthony Ratcliffe, Jeroen J. J. P. van den Beucken, John A. Jansen, Mark E. Wong, Antonios G. Mikos. Biomaterials-aided mandibular reconstruction using in vivo bioreactors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Mar 2019, 201819246; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1819246116. Full Text
A.M. Tatara, S.R. Shah, E. Watson, B.T. Smith, N. Demian, I.A. Hanna, J.C. Melville, T. Ho, J. Shum, J.J.J.P. van den Beucken, J.A. Jansen, M.E. Wong, and A.G. Mikos, “Leveraging Biomaterials for High Fidelity Mandibular Reconstruction,” Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society 2016 Americas Meeting, San Diego, California, December 11-14th, 2016.
A.M. Tatara, S.R. Shah, E. Watson, B.T. Smith, N. Demian, I.A. Hanna, J.C. Melville, T. Ho, J. Shum, J.J.J.P. van den Beucken, J.A. Jansen, M.E. Wong, and A.G. Mikos, “Ovine Model For Generation of Tissue-Engineered Vascularized Bone of Large Volume and Custom Geometry,” Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society 2016 Americas Meeting, San Diego, California, December 11-14th, 2016.